Sunday, February 18, 2018

Andrew Jackson and Donald Trump

The animus towards President Trump mirrors that directed at President Andrew Jackson almost two centuries ago. Our 7th President was viewed as a boob and hayseed. Presidents Washington, Adams and John Quincy Adams were from Massachusetts while Presidents Jefferson, Madison and Monroe hailed from Virginia. All six were “educated” by the standards of the time. President Jackson to them was the uneducated barbarian from Tennessee, the frontier of America. Yet, he was a lawyer and had served in Congress. His claim to the White House was based on defeating the British at the Battle of New Orleans. He did something Napoleon could never do – defeat Wellington’s regulars. The Duke of Wellington did not lead the British army at New Orleans, but they were his soldiers. General Jackson secured the future of the American Republic at New Orleans. None of the combatants knew at the time that the United Kingdom and the United States had earlier reached a peace treaty in the Treaty of Ghent. The British probably would have ignored it had they captured New Orleans, closing off much of the West to the United States. Andrew Jackson campaigned by attacking the Bank of the United States, beloved by the eastern establishment of the time. President Jackson opened the doors of the White House and let the people, his people, in after his inauguration. In short he opened the White House to the “deplorables” of those days. He opened America’s democracy to white males, a substantial increase from the 5% property owning white males at the creation of the country. Universal suffrage was still to come, but he started the progression. The Jackson Democrats became the worker backbone of the Democratic Party. Andrew Jackson found a way to connect with the people by enlisting reporters and editors to convey his message. He also demonized his opponents. He won the most votes in 1924, but no one won a majority of the electoral votes. Congress then elected John Quincy Adams as President. Andrew Jackson ranted about the “rigged” system. President Jackson was also attacked as an immoral adulterer. He was deeply in love with Rachel Robards, but it is unclear if she was divorced when she married the future President The fiery Jackson was also the only President to have killed a man in a duel (prior to the Presidency). Of course, there’s major differences, but doesn’t the story of Andrew Jackson presage that of Donald Trump? Immorality, adultery, fiery temper, rigged elections, deplorable voters, outsider crashing the party, trashing the establishment, demonizing opponents, messaging his supporters, and attacking the economic orthodoxy of the times. President Trump is as reviled by today’s Washington establishment as was President Jackson.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Lessons 48 Hours After the Parkland School Shooting

These horrific shooting tragedies bring out instant commentary in the fog of war. It’s time for gun control! It’s time to ban assault weapons and semi-assault weapons.! Ban the bump stocks! Students need to turn in their dangerous classmates We need psychological screenings Let’s ban gun sales to those with mental illness. Don’t let teenagers have guns. Our campuses need armed security guards. Blame it on the NRA Blame it on President Trump Here’s what we know. Two decades of school shootings have not brought solutions to ending the parade of tragedies. The Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School tragedy is one of the few shooting incidents when people immediately know who the shooter is before his identity is discovered. Nickolas Cruz at Parkland, like Cho Seung-Hoi at Virginia Tech, was a known risk. Yet they fell through the law enforcement cracks. 20 Sheriff calls to Cruz’s house over the past two years! The FBI twice failed to follow up or sufficiently investigate specific warnings about him. What good does it do to warn when the authorities don’t follow up? The FBI has a lot of explaining to do. The FBI Hotline averages 2,100 calls/day, but they have a protocol to respond to warnings like the January call about Cruz. It didn’t happen! Just a few weeks ago the Democrats were castigating the Republicans attacking the FBI leadership as an attack on the FBI. They are not springing today to the FBI’s defense. The best rules, protocols or procedures are ineffective in the face of human error, negligence, or incompetence. Psychology still cannot differentiate in advance most of those who pose a threat from those who don’t. “Red Flag” laws though can remove weapons from those who have acted dangerously in the past. Psychology will not tell us in advance which mentally ill patients have gone off their meds prior to shooting up schools or committing suicide. The high school had armed security, but security officers can’t be everywhere at once, especially at a high school with 3,000 students. “Gun-Free” schools are not a bar to shooters. Perhaps a number of teachers and staffers should be allowed to carry concealed weapons with the intent to use them against an armed intruder. The best defense against force is force in the active shooter scenario. Parkland and Sandy Hook show that active shooter drills and exercises save lives. Metal detectors and security would not have stopped Cruz as he mingled with the students who were leaving school. Why not take a look at violent video games which give “extra lives,” thereby cheapening the prices of human life and violence? How’s this for a radical thought for the media? DON’T PUBLISH THE ASSAILANT’S NAME. Strip them of the notoriety they so desperately crave

Monday, February 5, 2018

Yes, James Comey "That's It" - For now

James Comey’s response to the Nunes Memo was a simple “That’s It?” as if it were a nothing burger. The former FBI Director is very lucky in that the media is obsessed with destroying the Trump Presidency and touting the Democratic talking points. Had his conduct occurred during Nixon’s Watergate, he would have been indicted, as would Attorney General Roberta Lynch, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, FBI Special Agent Peter Stryck, FBI attorney Lisa Page, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, and a host of others. The crime is simple: The Obama Administration politicized the Justice Department, FBI, and IRS to destroy the political opposition. They repeated violated the constitutional rights of conservatives. CIA Director John Brennen and National Security Advisor James Clapper, who lied to Congress and the American people, became facilitators The “Dossier” in question was prepared for by a company called FusionGPS, which had it prepared by Christopher Steele, a former British MI6 agent Christopher Steele. Mr. Steele sources were Russians for scurrilous information on Donald Trump. He never going to Russia. We found out today that Democratic operatives also provided information to Steele. The Dossier was paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton Campaign. It was simply a piece of trashy opposition research. You can find it online if you search. Cutting through the flak leaves us with a simple reality. The FBI used unverified opposition research, the false Steele Dossier, to spy on the campaign of the opposition party. The fake dossier in turn became the Strzok-Page “insurance policy” of Trump-Russia collusion. It’s all based on a fake dossier, which the FBI knew was bogus. They subsequently terminated Christopher Steele for revealing confidential information to Mother Jones Magazine. Christopher Steele was very talkative. He spun the Dossier information to Yahoo, New York Times, Washington Post, and the New Yorker and other sources. Yahoo published a report, which was used by the FBI and Department of Justice in serving as the second sources for the warrants. He continued to provide information to Bruce Ohr through Ohr’s wife, who worked for Fusion GPS to acquire information on Donald Trump. Then FBI Director Comey appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee in June. He testified that the Dossier contained “salacious and unverifiable” information. Yet he signed three applications for FISA warrants, which had to be based on verifiable information. Was James Comey lying before Congress or the FISA Court, or perhaps both? James Comey’s, et al, acts during the 2016 election year display either misusing the FBI to elect Hillary Clinton or gross incompetence. He drafted the letter exonerating Hillary Clinton before interviewing her, while granting immunity to her assistants. He proceeded to not prosecute her for multiple violations of the Espionage Act eventhough that is not the FBI’s prerogative. It is the decision of the Attorney General or United States Attorneys to prosecute. The Nunes Memo, which he minimizes, tells us the FBI proceeded to investigate the Republican Presidential Campaign based on a fake dossier funded by the Democratic Party while ignoring the violations of the Democratic Presidential candidate with national security messages on her private server. The first request for a FISA warrant was denied by the FISA court. The FBI returned to the FSA Court with a new request based on the Dossier. Deputy FBI Director McCabe said the FBI would have not sought the warrant without the Dossier. The warrant was dated October 21, 2016 and directed against Carter Page The first FISA warrant was a Title I warrant which allows the FBI to surveil anyone Carter Page talked to – in short, the Trump campaign and Trump Tower in an open-ended warrant. The FBI was technically surveilling Page, but clearly the Trump Campaign and appointees were surveilled. The warrant became the cover story to spy on the Trumps The Democrats, led by the chronic leaker Congressman Adam Schiff, and the mainstream media have waged a vitriolic attack on Congressman Nunes and the Committee Report, but do not point to any factual errors in it. 1) The Nunes Memo betrays secrets and national security If you read the Memo, you will not find any breaches of security 2) It contains omissions: The FBI had the opportunity to fill in the deletions and omissions prior to publication 3) It demoralizes the FBI and other security agencies; It only names the highly politicized upper levels of the FBI and Justice Department. 4) It breaks an unwritten rule of not criticizing the intelligence agencies There’s also an express rule that the agencies stay out of politics It is also illegal for these agencies to unmask 200 American citizens involved in the Trump Campaign and appointees 5) It is an attack to discredit the Mueller Investigation Why not? Special Prosecutor stacked his staff with Clinton and Obama loyalists? 6) It is a partisan attack: How ironic! The Democrats and mainstream media have been waging a vicious partisan attack on President Trump since his election. 7) There’s no proof; The Los Angeles Times headlines was: “GOP Memo Alleges, Doesn’t Prove FBI Abuses” How further ironic! The mainstream media and millions of Democrats are obsessed with the Russian Connection electing Donald Trump, who is also guilty of obstruction of justice. Neither of which has any proof. The reason for the bristling attacks on Nunes and the Memo is simple: They destroy the entire narrative of the Russian Connection with Donald Trump. In law anything that comes from the bogus, unlawful warrant is known as “The Fruit of the Poisonous Tree” and is inadmissible. James Comey knows there’s a lot more there!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

President Trump's First State of the Union Speech is the True Successor to President Reagan

If the Democrats are expecting a wave election in which they sweep the House and Senate, then they did nothing to advance that vision last night. President Trump delivered his first State of the Union Address. The Democrats sat frozen in their seats throughout the 81-minute oration, looking like they were sucking a prune. Their strategy this past year is to vilify the President to gin up their base to reject the President in November. Their base is energized. “Trump” is a four letter word to the Democratic Never Trumpers. The Democrats are salivating; the future is theirs. Or not! They do not understand the Trump phenomenon. They never understood the Reagan phenomenon. California Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown thought the former actor would be a patsy in Pat Brown’s reelection. Governor Brown never had a chance. President Carter and the Democrats thought the former California Governor would be a sitting duck Reagan won in a landslide bringing a Republican Senate in with him. The Democrats and the media all thought Trump would be toast in the 2016 election. It was to be a Democratic landslide, led by Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump and the Republicans won big. President Trump has four major themes that appeal to the American people: church, family, military, and police. The coastal elites don’t understand these fundamental American values. The Democrats’ problem is that they have forsaken the American people in the Heartland of America. Hillary Clinton called then “Deplorables.” The Midwest to the coastal elites became Flyover Country with Chicago being an oasis. They ignored the warning signs of the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections. They don’t understand the patriotism and optimism of the American people. President Reagan was an optimist and cheerleader for the Americans. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the son of privilege, was an optimist and cheerleader for America. President Trump, the son of privilege, is an optimist and cheerleader for the Americans. The American people saw that in 2016. Nothing the Democrats threw at Donald Trump stuck. They called President Reagan the “Teflon President.” So too with President Trump. The fact-checkers should check out. President Trump is the successor to President Reagan with the State of the Union Address. President Reagan was, to the best of my memory, the first President to highlight ordinary Americans in the SOTU. President Trump’s speech is a classic. He showcased Ji Seong-Ho, the North Korean refugee with his crutches, and the parents of Otto Warmbier, who was brutalized by North Korea. The President the Capitol Police and Alexandria Police who saved the Congressional Republicans attacked by a Mernie Sanders supporter at a baseball field. He presented the heroic Staff Sergeant Justin Peck, Coast Guard helicopter pilot Ashlee Leppert, who saved over 40 lives in 18 hours of Hurricane Harvey’s fury, and the couple that adopted a child. He presented the Ohio family that can expand their business because of the Trump tax cuts, and the list goes on. The piece de resistance was Preston Sharp, the 12-year old boy from Redlands, California who placed American flags on Veterans Day on the veterans’ graves. The Democrats looked like frozen unpatriotic Grinches as they remained seated. The Republicans started yelling: “USA! USA! USA!” while the Democrats sat in place, except for Representative Luis Gutierrez, who stormed out in a huff. Videos of the sitting democrats will be shown during the election season. The President mentioned the lowest recorded African American employment rate in history. The Democratic African American members of Congress sat with pain painted on their faces. They knew President Trump struck a chord with their constituency. The Democrats stayed quiet as President Trump quoted the motto “In God We Trust.” The Democrats are obsessed with President Trump’s low polling numbers. The ignore the reality that the President’s approval numbers exceed those of Congress and the media combined. President Trump reminded Americans that he had unleashed the military to defeat ISIS. The new Rules of Engagement are simply defeat the enemy. He said that Guantanamo will not only remain open, but will accept new captured terrorists. He embraced a path to citizenship for 1.8million Dreamers, but coupled it with border security and the end of chain migration. The Democrats sat on their hands as he painted them into a political corner. Family God Military Police He coupled “Americans love their country” with they “deserve a country that shows them the same love and loyalty in return.” Not a peep from the Democrats. “There has never been a better time to start living the American dream” unless you suffer from the Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Wants to Sue to Enjoin the Trump Tax Cuts

Governor Cuomo is enlisting New Jersey and Connecticut in his crusade to keep New York taxes high by suing the federal government to enjoin the Trump Tax Reform Act, which cuts taxes to the vast majority of Americans. They object to the 10% limit on state income and property tax deductions in itemized deductions. Of course, they want to sue. Liberals have resorted to litigation in recent decades when they lose politically. Trial lawyers are one of the core constituencies of the modern Democratic Party. Harry Reid and Barack Obama stacked the lower courts in the federal judiciary by eliminating the filibuster on judicial nominees to the federal district and appellate courts, The Democrats can usually find a liberal judge in blue states to enjoin the Trump Administration. Xavier Becerra, California’s Attorney General, has already filed 25 lawsuits against the Trump Administration. Ninth Circuit judges have taken it upon themselves to stop the Trump Agenda. New York has every right to tax its citizens as high as it wants, and does. New York residents have every right to pay the high taxes, or move. Hello Texas Hello Florida Hello Nevada A tipping point exists where high earners and entrepreneurs will leave a state or country because of high taxes as well as regulatory burdens. Connecticut has reached that point after 8 years of incessant tax increases under Governor Malloy. GE fled Connecticut for the state once known as Taxachusetts. Aetna is threatening to leave Connecticut. Ironically, Democrats like Governor Cuomo, who demonize the 1%ers, are now claiming to be fighting on their behalf. High income tax payers in New York City will now face a marginal tax rate approaching 50% of their income with federal, state, and city income taxes, The top marginal federal tax rate will be 37%. The New York City marginal tax rate is 12.7%. The combined marginal rate is 49.7% before adding social security, Medicare taxes, property taxes, and a plethora of fees. New York gets 57.2% of its tax revenue from the income tax. The Top 1% in New York pay 40% and the top 0.1% ¼ of the state’s income tax revenues. Governor Cuomo is scared the top 1% will flee. They would have gone to Connecticut or New Jersey in the past, but those states have become tax hells. Hello Florida. Mett Rush Limbaugh who left New York decades ago. Meet the wealthy retirees in Florida. Check out Texas while you’re at it. Roughly 80% of Americans are expected to see lower taxes, but not high earners in some high tax states. Governor Cuomo has found a new love for high income residents upon who both he and Governor Brown of California have bestowed “millionaire” taxes. He simply wants to tax tem as high as he can, knowing that many won’t leave the state as long as they can deduct the state income and property taxes from their federal income tax. Taxation is a political issue given to Congress by the Constitution. Governor Cuomo may not have noticed but the Democrats in Congress not only unanimously voted against the tax act, but they refused to negotiate with the Republicans. The Democrats’ blind opposition to the Republican majority leaves the Republicans only negotiating with themselves. New York could lower its taxes, but the public employee unions would object. New York is running a $4 billion deficit, setting it up for a budget disaster in the next economic downturn. What Governor Cuomo will not do is cut spending.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

President Trump's Amazing First Year of Success

President Trump has had a very productive, successful first year in office. We know because of the virulence of the Democrats and mainstream media. They would be hailing President Trump as a successful President if he were a weak-kneed Milquetoast. President Trump will not be toast or putty in their hands. Opprobrium certainly exists against him because some of his outlandish tweets during the 2016 election. Some have never forgiven him for upsetting their favored Hillary Clinton for the Presidency. Others still can’t understand how he could be elected President. Opponents do not view President Trump not as a progressive or conservative. Instead his “Drain the Swamp” pledge represents an insurrection. He is a flame throwing rebel striking at the status quo in Washington. President Trump is not a politician; he actually intents to fulfill his campaign promises. He is representing the working class of America, the “Deplorables” in Flyover Country. The President is mounting a direct attack on the basic tenets of modern liberalism: open borders, climate change, diversity, abortion and Planned Parenthood, and free trade. One of his first acts was to impose immigration controls. President Trump is rejuvenating the fossil fuels market. Fracking and offshore drilling are no longer “four-letter” words in the Trump Administration. ANWR (Alaska National Wildlife Refuge) is being opened up for drilling under the Trump Tax cuts, which will cut the taxes for most Americans.. He approved the Dakota Access and Keystone Pipeline. The Trump Administration most significantly is attacking head-on the Regulatory State. He is relentlessly attacking the orthodoxy of the left His appointees are repealing piece by piece eight years of the Obama Administration. Much of the Obama Legacy is in tatters after only one year of the Trump Administration. Congress rescinded 15 Obama agency regulations pursuant to the Congressional Review Act. His foreign policy is not one of appeasement, but of projecting American might, strength, and will. The blatant anti-Israel animus of the Obama Administration has been replaced by a friend of Israel, who announced the movement of the United States Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. His State Department will not be a party to the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions) Movement. The agreements with Cuba and Iran will not stand as signed. His Office of Management and Budget Director Mike Mulvaney is slicing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to pieces. Scott Pruitt, EPA Administrator, is dismantling the many of the Obama Administration’s environmental measures. The days of the contentious Obama EPA Clean Water Rule are numbered. Secretary of the Interior Zinke and the President have reduced the size of some of the country’s national monuments. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has rescinded her predecessor’s “Dear Colleague” letter on campus sexual assaults. The letter eviscerated the due process rights of the accused in these cases. Universities have had trouble resolving campus sexual assaults, but the letter was not the right solution to a major problem. ObamaCare is being chipped away at, piece by piece. Religious institutions will now be protected against the Obama contraception mandates. First Lady Michelle Obama’s “healthy” school lunch program is no longer mandated by the federal government. The FCC has trashed the “net neutrality” rule while the NLRB has reversed the questionable pro-labor decisions of the Obama NLRB. The Obama Administration Rules of Engagement for fighting ISIS have been rescinded. The Military can now do its job. The nation’s police forces will again receive surplus military equipment. He has persevered, but really triumphed, because of the relentless, incessant attacks. His critics have spent so much time and ink vilifying and demonizing him, they don’t deeply cover what’s he’s achieving. He may not tune out his critics, but he doesn’t let them deter him. He is also not deterred by the judicial roadblocks thrown up by activist federal judges. President Trump has a vision for America, Make American Great Again. Cut through the static, and you see an amazing year of success.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Thoughts on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

We celebrate today the birthday and life of the foremost African American civil rights leader, but above all a great American, whose life was cut short at age 39 by an assassin. The young Reverend King went to Montgomery, Alabama in 1954 to be the pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, an African American church one block below the Alabama State Capitol. He did not know it at the time, but his future was set on December 1, 1955 when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus to a white man. The Montgomery Bus Boycott began on December 5. An organizing committee, the Montgomery Improvement Association, was formed. Dr. King was chosen to head the MIA. The other civil rights leaders in Montgomery recognized that Dr. King was the natural leader of the Movement. He was now the public face of the Civil Rights Movement. His speeches and writings resonated throughout America. Others, the Reverends Ralph David Abernathy, Joseph Lowery, and Fred Shuttlesworth, and Baltimore’s A. Philip Randolph, were great leaders in their own right, but they knew Martin Luther King, Jr. was the one. A student, John Lewis, was severely injured during the attacks on the Freedom Riders at the Greyhound Bus Station in Montgomery, Alabama. He is now a revered Congressman from Atlanta. Thurgood Marshall, a leading African American lawyer in the civil rights cases, was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Johnson. Many more civil rights leaders, local, regional, and national, are lost to modern history. MLK has remained the leader amongst leaders in the struggles. He is the symbol of the African American Civil Rights Movement, but they all should be remembered. The southern leaders of the movement. faced arrests, beatings, bombings, lynching, murder, and shootings. The houses of Dr. King and the Reverend Ralph David Abernathy were bombed as were four African American churches during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. More known today is the tragic bombing of the 16 Street Baptist Church in Birmingham on September 15, 1963. Dr. King was arrested over two dozen times. His Letter from a Birmingham City Jail is a classic. The leaders knew that they were not only risking their lives, but the lives of their family members, colleagues, and friends. They shower real courage. They knew they could not depend upon law enforcement to protect them. Too many officers led, assisted or tolerated the rabid segregationists, including Commissioner Bull Conner of Birmingham, Dallas County (Selma) Sheriff Jim Clark, and Sheriff Lawrence A. Rainey and Deputy Sheriff Ray Price of Neshoba County, Mississippi. Unbeknownst to Dr. King, J. Edgar Hoover put him under FBI surveillance and wiretapping. As law enforcement, especially federal, and with the supportive judicial decisions, especially at the Supreme Court, the Civil rights protestors could increasingly rely on the Rule of Law. As Dr. King said: “It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the three great apostles of non-violence in seeking freedom and equality for their people: Dr. King, Gandhi, and Cesar Chavez. They practiced non-violence, even when violence was used against them. What would Dr. King see if he were alive today? Tremendous progress, but … He would have witnessed the election of an African American as President, as well as African Americans as Governors of Massachusetts and Virginia. He will see three African American Senators, including an African American Republican Senator in South Carolina. He will see several African Americans as Representatives in Congress, as well as scores through statehouses. He will see African Americans rising to the top of several corporations, including American Express. He will see scores of actors succeeding in Hollywood. He will see hundreds of African American serving as Mayors, Police Chiefs and Sheriffs. He will see African Americans succeeding in the professions as well as a rising African American middle class. He might think the most famous part of his great I Have a Dream Speech at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963 has been realized: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream.” Yes, he might think that, but he would also be concerned. He will still see signs of inequality in our cities: shabby housing, large scale poverty, high unemployment, high crime rates, drugs and alcohol, too many single mothers, gangs, and black on black crime. He will see a backsliding in race relations. He will see increasing violence by supporters of African American civil rights. Today’s kneeing NFL players are risking nothing but opprobrium by their acts. It doesn’t take courage to kneel. Today’s leaders are preaching divisiveness. Affirmative Action, Black Lives Matter. He will see attacks on “White Privilege” and witness increasing violence by civil right supporters. He sees a war on police. He knows that is not the way to equality.