Thursday, June 22, 2017

Dump Trump! Wait! No! No! No! Dump Pelosi: More Lessons from Georgia 6

How fast perceptions can change in Politics. Just two days ago President Trump was an albatross wrapped around the Republican Party: Russian hacking of the Presidential Election; the Russian Connection; Obstruction of Justice; the constant attacks by late night shows, celebrities, and the media. His polls, already low, were in the tank. Time to impeach or dump the President. The Democrats had high hopes of winning the special election in Georgia 6. They wrapped the President around Karen Hander, the Republican candidate. The Republicans wrapped House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi around Jon Ossoff, as they have in other elections. The Republicans won. Congresswoman Pelosi is toxic in much of the country. Residents of red America don’t like Nancy Pelosi or her San Francisco Values. The young Ossofff was portrayed as Nancy Pelosi’s pupett. A classic republican ad (available on You tube) for Hander had San Francisco “residents” praising their next Congressman, Jon Ossoff, ending with a san Francisco cable car with a big “ad” for Jon Ossoff, next to a peace symbol, and above “San Francisco Congressman.” San Francisco Values don’t play well between the coasts. They also don’t like her. She comes across as arrogant, contemptuous, shrill and snarky. Congresswoman Pelosi has led the Democrats in the House for almost 15 years. She led them to victory and recontrol of the House in 2006. She gleefully pushed through ObamaCare (“We have to pass the Bill to know what’s in it”), and led the House Democrats to defeat in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016, four losses in a row. Yet, she has retained her position as leader of the House Democrats. How? Money. Jesse Unruh, the great California politician, said “Money is the mother’s milk of politics.” Nancy Pelosi is a consummate fundraiser, raining money on her Democratic colleagues, $568 million. Just as money can’t always but love or an election, it also doesn’t always buy loyalty. Democrats don’t like losing, having controlled Congress for much of the past eight decades. They don’t like losing when they believed they would win, and she played a major role in the loss. The knifes are out with several Congressional Democrats meeting behind closed doors to discuss her future. Her days are numbered. The Democrats thought they had a real chance of winning because Georgia 6 contains a high percent of college educated graduates. They believe that educated Americans prefer Democrats to Republicans. The elitists believe the uneducated, hayseed, gun-clinging “deplorables” support President Trump and Republicans. President Trump barely carried District 6 in 2016. National surveys showed that voters with a college degree voted 52-43% for Clinton in 2016. Roughly 60% of District 6’s registered voters have college degrees. Ergo, 6 would turn blue from red, in their dreams. They forgot the great Speaker Tip O’Neill’s adage “All politics is local.” They ran a national campaign against President Trump for a carpetbagger in a local Congressional District. They continue to misunderstand “Flyover Country.” Even if the highly educated District 6 voters were lukewarm on President Trump, they did not want to go back to Nancy Pelosi and her Democrats. They don’t share the same values. Then we have the Hollywood celebrities. They were out in force in the primary and general election supporting Jon Ossoff. Campaign contributions rained in from Rosie O’Donnell, Jane Fonda, Jessica Lange, Sean Daniel, Connie Britton, Sam Waterson, Kyra Sedgwick, Samuel L. Jackson (also did radio ads), Jon Cryer, Rhea Perlman, Lynda Carter, Sarah Silverman, George Takai and John Leguizamo. Tweets came from Chelsea Handler, Debra Messing, Mark Ruffalo, Kerry Washington, Billy Baldwin, and others. Alyssa Milano even drove Ossoff voters to the polls in the primary. The American people may watch their movies and TV shows, but they don’t like Hollywood values. Nor do they think Hollywood understands Americans who reside outside the Beverly Hills/Brentwood/Malibu cocoon. 7,218 contributions of $200 or more were recorded from California for the Ossoff Campaign. From March 29 through May 31 almost as much came from the San Francisco Bay Area ($220,532.10) as from all of Georgia ($228,474.44). Only 14% of his roughly $24 million campaign funding came from Georgia residents. Even his contributions were carpetbagged into the District. Voters don’t like incessant robocalls, which are political spam. The Ossoff Campaign engaged in a multitude of robocalls. (Side Bar – Congress has exempted political campaigns from the Do-Not Call List). Academicians also contributed to his campaign with month coming from each of the top 15 highly ranked universities, and public universities, such as Michigan. The Georgia 6 voters resented the external elitists trying to buy their seat. The Democratic “Get Out the Vote” effort encountered an obstacle in attempting to contact many Millennials, who were living in their parent’s homes because they either were unemployed or underemployed. If President Obama had spent more effort in growing the economy rather than in a policy redistribution, they might have homes of their own. One mother, in answering a Democratic call for her son, told her son that if he answered the call or voted for Ossoff, then he would immediately be cast out of the house on his own. The Democrats need a new message. Anti-Trump failed nationally in 2016. It failed locally in 2017.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Georgia 6 Shows Once Again that Money (and Democrats) Don't Always Win Elections

The Hillary Clinton campaign collectively spent $1.4 billion dollars to lose to Donald Trump’s $958 million. These sums include individual PAC campaigns. Money doesn’t always buy love or elections. An unpopular candidate with a poor message, campaigning skills, and strategy can still lose to a better candidate. She did not lose because of Russian hacking, Russian collusion, the FBI, James Comey, sexism, WikiLeaks, fake news, right wing media, mainstream media, Netflix, the Democratic National Committee, Vladimir Putin, voter suppression in Wisconsin, and Macedonia. She lost because she was the wrong candidate at the wrong time. Jon Ossoff lost Georgia 6 because he was the wrong candidate in the wrong district at the wrong time. About 40 years too late. Georgia 6 has been a strong Republican district since Newt Gingrich first won it in 1979. The Democrats have been seeking a special Congressional election to swing a Republican District to the Democrats. It would be a large morale booster to the dispirited Democrats. It would be a momentum builder. It would provide the game plan first to win back the House of Representatives in 2018 and then the Presidency in 2020 on an anti-Trump platform. It would show a way to divide President Trump from his base. Not Trump! Not Trump! Not Trump! That’s the campaign strategy. The media’s hammering President Trump non-stop. The accusations are relentless. Yet the President keeps coming, just like the Energizer Bunny. Ossoff young, 30, a fresh face, telegenic, an earnest campaigner. He grew up in the district, but now lives outside of it with his fiancĂ©, which makes him a carperbagger. Jon Ossoff – the new face of the Democratic Party – earnest, enthusiastic, energetic! A Bernie Sanders acolyte as the Democrats move to the left. He lost 53%-47%, a wider margin than expected. The polls were wrong again. First Kansas. The Republicans won. Second Montana. A pugilistic Republican won. Today, Georgia and South Carolina. Both Republicans won. The Democrats thought, or hoped, that the moderate, highly educated Republicans in Georgia 6 would reject the Republicans. Donald Trump, the presidential candidate, barely carried Georgia 6 in 2016. Many even believed Ossoff would win. They poured money into his campaign. Total estimated expenditures of the two campaigns are between 54 and $60 million, the most expensive Congressional campaign to date. The Ossoff campaign raised $23.6 million compared to $4.5 for the handel campaign. Outside spending by the Democratic Party and PACs added another $7.6 million to his campaign. However, the Republicans poured another $18.2 million into the Handel campaign. Add them up, the Ossoff campaigners spent about $31.2 million and the Handel campaigners $22.7 million. As with the 2016 Presidential Election, money did not decide the election, notwithstanding the Democratic hysteria over Citizens United. The Georgia campaign on the issues was interesting. Ossoff was stridently anti-trump during the primary, but toned it down during the general election. Karen Handel had the support of President Trump, but did not run with him or against him. Her campaign focused on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who is still a negative figure in Red America. Other issues were tax reform, ObamaCare, and terrorism. The shooting House Republican Steve Scalise also played a factor in the outcome. The Republicans claim a real victory. The Democrats claim a moral victory. Which do you want in politics?

Friday, June 16, 2017

Memo to Democrats and the Media: President Rump is Implementing His Agenda

Memo to Democrats and the Media: President Trump and the Republicans’ Accomplishments Over the Past Two Weeks The Russian Connection, Obstruction of Justice, Comey, Mueller, and the tragic shooting of the Republicans in Alexandria have sucked the oxygen out of the air. It’s as though nothing else occurred in D.C. this past week. Yet some pundits can’t understand how the President can be so sanguine during this period. He seems unfazed in public despite the relentless academic, media, political, and legal attacks, How can he withstand the massive Trump Derangement attacks, the never ending negative news and blistering media attacks? Why won’t President Trump simply give up and resign? The answer is simple. His Administration, the Republican Congress, and administrative agencies are implementing his campaign promises. One by one, step by step, the Obama Legacy is becoming history. One of the most significant acts was taken by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday, June 5 was to end the diversion of federal settlement funds to private liberal, progressive groups favored by the Obama Administration. For example, the settlements with BP and Transocean over the Macano Blowout sent $2.3 billion to organizations, such as the American Lung Association, Ducks Unlimited, and the National Fish and Wildlife Federation. The defendants have been wiling to enter into these “contributions” to NGO’s because they are deductible as charitable contributions whereas government fines are not. These recipients are not victims of the alleged wrongdoing, but they get to benefit from it. The funds not going to the government should go to the victims, not government favored organizations. I have seen an argument that these settlements violate federal law. AG Sessions’ memo prohibits settlement provisions “that directs or provides for a payment or loan to any non-governmental person or entity that is not a party to the dispute.” Another significant step to protect America was done by the State Department. The Obama Administration kept seeing a rigorous processing procedure was used in vetting refugees into the United States. However, it barred the use of a major measure that could uncover some potential terrorists or criminal’ the use of social media. The Trump Administration approved a new questionnaire for visa applicants. It will ask for social media accounts used over the preceding five years and travel history over the previous 15 years. The Obama Administration through the Department of Education went on a Jihad over the past couple of years against for-profit higher education institutions, putting some out of business. The Administration issued rule making it easier for students at these institutions to write off their student loans. These new regulations were due to go into effect July 1. The Trump Department of Education suspended these rules a few days ago. The Department will now restudy and situation and adopt new rules, which will also be directed at reducing the fraudulent practices of which some of the schools were accused. The House approved 368-55 “The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017.” The Senate approved it June 6. The bill will make it easier to fire VA managers and employees for cause. The Senate approved 97-2 on Wednesday a bill that will toughen sanctions against the Russians. Wednesday was a big day. The Department of Labor rescinded a controversial Obama Administration standard defining when companies, such as fast food chains, can be held as a “joint employer” with a franchisee. The Democrats as fellow travelers who previously had no problem with Secretary Clinton’s Russian reset, and President Obama’s statement that he could do more after reelection, now had no problem now acting against Russia, since it is the lynchpin of their delegitimizing of President Trump. (I hate writing sentences this long and convoluted). Just today, in Little Miami, Florida, he rescinded much of the Obama pact with Cuba. A little over two weeks ago on Thursday, June 1 President Obama announced “We’re getting out “of the Paris Accords. Why is President Trump hanging in there against a veritable tsunami? He is succeeding with his agenda.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

It's Time to Tone Down the Rhetoric, Before It's Too Late

James T. Hodgkinson, a left-wing Bernie Sanders volunteer and supporter, and a crazed nutjob with a long rap sheet, shot up a Republican baseball practice this morning. He severely wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. Capitol Police Special Agent Crystal Griner, Congressional aide Zach Barth, and lobbyist Matt Mika were also shot. He had previously posted on Face Book “Trump is a traitor. Trump has destroyed our democracy. It’s time to destroy Trump and Company.” He did not think of those thoughts on his own. This year has seen the politics of personal destruction reach a new low, dropping into the sewer of politics. The tone of debate has been deteriorating for years. Let’s not blame it on Democrats or Republicans. Donald Trump wasn’t the only presidential candidate this year that said nasty comments about opponents. Hillary Clinton often took the low road while professing to stay on the high road. Politics is a blood sport. Presidential elections can take rhetoric and dirty tricks to unacceptable levels because so much is at stake. This year though did not see the vitriolic end on election day. Instead, it has escalated against President Trump. Illegitimate, impeach, resist, treason have become the watchwords of the leftwing of the Democratic Party. We’ll told to “Resist” and “Fight Back.” Hillary Clinton says she’s setting up a “Resistance” PAC. “Traitor” and “treason” have joined the everyday lexicon. The New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times have led the mainstream media parade in daily drips of anti-Trump rhetoric, anti-Trump-all the time, 24-7. It’s time to back off, relax, take a deep breath, exhale, It’s time to engage in critical analysis. Reasoned debate is leaving the academy and society. Celebrities have taken low comedy into the swamp. Madonna has thought of blowing up the White House. Kathy Griffin held up a gory decapitated head of Donald Trump. New York’s Shakespeare in the Park is playing Julius Caesar. That’s art. Caesar is assassinated. That’s history. They’ve updated it to modern times; that’s poetic license. The Bard’s plays aren’t copyrighted. Their version of Julius Caesar portrays Donald Trump as Caesar, yellow hair, red tie, and a Slovenian accented wife. That may be protected Free Speech, but it’s outrageous. Progressives, such as the LA Times Michael Hiltzak, have criticized Bank of America and Delta Airlines for withdrawing their financial support of Shakespeare in the Park. He would have been apoplectic if President Obama had received this treatment. Let us not forget the academics, the molders of the minds of our students, promoting intolerance on our campuses. Professor Lars Maischak tweeted President Trump “should hang.” He also wrote that two Republicans should be executed for every deported immigrant. Professor Olga Perez Stable Cox called President Trump “a white supremacist” and the election as an “act of terrorism.” Her colleagues were so pleased with her statements that they voted her faculty member of the year. Professor Ray Michalowski of Northern Arizona called the President “the racist in chief.” Professor Thomas Chung, a professor painting at the University of Alaska Anchorage, displayed a painting with Chris Evans, Captain America, holding up President Trump’s decapitated head, by his hair. The lack of reasoned discourse and freedom of speech on our campuses will test our democracy. Violence did not begin this morning. The past year has witnessed not only threats but also physical violence directed at conservative speakers on our campuses, conduct which far exceeds protected peaceful picketing and demonstrations. Let us remember that protestors were hired during the general election to disrupt Trump rallies. No one statement or act led to this individual act of violence. Collectively they create a tone and atmosphere inciting violence, often by nut jobs. Left wing violence, right wing violence, they’re out there. Don’t feed them red meat. My concern is also based on history. Weimar Germany experienced increasing acts of street violence and riots between the Communists and Nazis before the Nazis came to power. Violence begets more violence. We need to back down from the uncivil discourse.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Lessons from the London Election

The pollsters got it wrong again, as in the 2015 British general election, Brexit, the 2017 British general election and the 2016 United States election. The “finely tuned” pollsters have had difficulty since the advent of the cell phone. Polls were traditionally based on polling land lines. The younger generation doesn’t use land lines. The second problem is estimating turnout, not just by overall percentages, but by demographics and age. The third party is measuring late-developing turnout and voting. The past is not always prologue. The second lesson is the role of young voters, the 18-24 voters. They stayed home in the 2016 and Brexit elections, eventhough they opposed Brexit. They showed up this time. Their turnout was up 12% from 2015 to 2017, and they voted roughly 2:1 for Labor. The older voters had voted overwhelmingly for the Conservatives in 2015 and Brexit in 2016. Jeremy Corbyn, Labor’s leader to the left of Senator Bernie Sanders, had a siren call for the young voters: FREE COLLEGE TUITION! Watch the Democrats pick up on free tuition in upcoming elections. President Obama appealed to the young voters in 2012 by offering to cut the interest rate on student loans. They jumped on it, not realizing that what they really needed was jobs. The young voters are globally dissatisfied with their economies. They no longer see the fabled post - World War II America of upper mobility. They don’t see opportunity in the economy. They see “capitalism” as creating no jobs. Indeed, they have been accustomed in democratic socialist countries to look to the government instead of self-reliance. Think of President Obama’s Julia in the 2012 Presidential Election. The young voters have been educated, especially in today’s colleges, that business is greedy and unresponsive to consumers. They are ignorant even of basic economics. The young have not been taught to engage in critical analysis. Consequently, they look to government to solve their problems, for now. The youth vote is not a constant. Third, Prime Minister Theresa May tried to move the Tories to the left in the general election. Conservatives need to understand that they can never outbid the parties of government! The Prime Minister’s campaign also echoed the American presidential election. An energetic candidate who speaks to the needs of the people can defeat a staid, status quo candidate. Theresa May is not Hillary Clinton, but she also ran a lackluster campaign. The conservative Prime Minister could normally have been expected to rally her voters by stressing law and order after the three terrorist attacks in England in three months. She said “Enough is enough.” However, just as Hillary Clinton could not escape her private server and email. Theresa May could not escape her previous six years as Home Secretary, where she cut the country’s police forces by 20,000 officers. In addition, many of the terrorists were known to the authorities, but nothing was done about them. The American people in 2016 and the British people in 2017 voted against the status quo. Jeremy Corbyn and Donald Trump recognized the will of the people. Mr. Corbyn did not win a majority or plurality, but he was supposed to lose in a landslide. Instead, his Labor Party gained 31 seats while the Tories lost 12 seats, losing a majority in Parliament. Britain and the United States are divided politically. Any party representing the status quo is in danger.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Trump v. Comey

Yesterday's Senate Intelligence Committee with former FBI Director James Comey reaffirmed my view that President Trump should have fired FBI Director James Comey on first day of his Presidency. Director Comey’s reputation going into the hearing was as an independent pillar of integrity. If you listened carefully to him, then you realized he came across as a petty, petulant, vengeful, vindictive bully who did not get his way. It was all about “Me” – “James Comey” and how he was wronged. After the sturm und drang of Director Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee today, nothing has changed. The media that thinks the President is an impeachable liar who is obstructing justice still believes President Trump is an impeachable lair who is obstructing justice. They’re long since past looking at the actual facts. He said that many of the “leaked” newspaper disclosures have been false, but that doesn’t stop the media from reporting them to denigrate President Trump. James Comey said he told President trump three times that he was not the subject of an investigation. He also said that not only did the President not call for an end of the Russian intervention investigation, but wanted to find out if any of his staff were involved. President Trump said “if some of my satellites did something wrong, it’ll be good to do find that out.” Director Comey added no order or request came from the President or his staff to halt the investigation. That does not sound like obstruction of justice unless you are deft to the facts. When asked why he had not objected when President Trump asked for loyalty and hoped any case against General Flynn could be dropped, Director Comey responded to a question by Senator Feinstein “Maybe if I were stronger I would have. I was so stunned by the conversation that I just …. took it in. ….” The weak FBI Director then decided to record his conversations in memos, but did not talk to the Attorney General, deputy Attorney general, White House Counsel, or even point out to the President that his remarks were inappropriate. The FBI Director acted “strong” in the Bush Administration when he threatened to resign if the President didn’t make changes to the FISA warrant standards. The Dems can’t let go of their Russian hacking and impeachment of President Trump crusade. It’s their links to their base. Plus, as in the 2016 election, they have nothing to offer the American people. If President Trump has committed obstruction of justice, then President Obama is much more guilty of it when he twice publicly said secretary Clinton was innocent and did nothing wrong with her server and emails. Sooner or later most Americans will realize that the Democrats have been huffing and puffing about nothing. Senator Marco Rubio asked the key question about the leaks: “Do you ever wonder why, of all the things in this investigation, the only thing that’s never leaked is the fact that the president was not personally under investigation, despite the fact that Democrats and Republicans and the leadership of Congress knew that and have known that for weeks?” Director Comey accused the President of being a liar who defamed him and the FBI. He objected to the charge that the “FBI was poorly led and in disarray.” Is President Trump unqualified for the presidency because he is accused of lying? If so, that would disqualify every president since 1932 with the possible exception of President Carter, who was simply grossly incompetent. How about President Obama when he lied both to the American people and the United Nations on Benghazi, blaming it on a 12 minute video nobody had seen? How about Secretary Clinton with her repeated lies about her private server? A few bombshells came from Director Comey’s testimony. First was the actions of Attorney General Loretta Lynch after her meeting on the Phoenix Airport tarmac with President Clinton. The FBI was investigating Secretary Clinton’s private server. The Attorney General asked the FBI Director to call it a “matter” rather than an “investigation,” echoing the talking points of the Clinton Campaign. The FBI does investigations, not matters. That was a direct attempt by President Obama’s Attorney General to interfere with the Clinton investigation. Comey said “That was the thing that capped it for me, that I had to do something separately to protect the credibility of the investigation, which meant both the FBI and the Justice Department.” He was “confused and concerned” by the request. What he did was publicly “indict” Hillary Clinton and then exculpate her in the same press conference on July 5, 2016. His decision against prosecuting the Secretary was not within his jurisdiction. It was the Justice Department’s call. If the Attorney General could not act, then he should have taken it to Sally Yates, the Deputy Attorney General. He also rewrote the statute to exonerate Secretary Clinton, requiring an intent requirement when none is required by the statute. FBI Director Comey also gave sweetheart immunity deals to two of secretary Clinton’s aides. He made sure the server in question would be destroyed. He interviewed secretary Clinton near the end of his investigation, but not under oath. As to “matter” versus “investigation,” he acceded to the Attorney General’s request. He was “confused and concerned” by her request, but apparently did not start creating memos about their conversations. He grossly mishandled the Clinton investigation, both on July 5 and then October 28 and November 6 right before the election. The career prosecutors and FBI agents were very upset at his act. The media commented on the disarray within the FBI, which President Trump echoed in his tweets. It’s not defamation is the statement is true. Who’s mistaken now? The logical explanation for FBI Director’s misconduct in office in the Clinton Investigation is that he thought as did most Washington, D.C., that Hillary Clinton would be elected President. He wanted to remain FBI Director, having prostrated himself before President Obama to obtain the appointment. He knew his status under President Trump was tenuous. President Trump’s mistake was not terminating James Comey on January 20, 2017, his first day in office. Director Comey’s second bombshell was admitting leaking a memo to a friend, a law professor at Columbia, with the intend that his friend leak it to the media. He claimed he did so on May 16 in reaction to President Trump’s May 12 tweet in hopes of spurring the appointment of a special prosecutor. The facts don’t add up. The New York Times published excerpts from the leak the day before the tweet. Go figure! Questions: What else has Comey leaked? What about Susan Rice? How much did Ben Rhodes leak?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

What to Expect from Tomorrow's Comey/Comedy Hearing? Nada

Drum roll! Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee tomorrow. The Democrats are salivating; this is it; the smoking gun for impeachment is here. The media is setting the stage forth second coming of Watergate. Ignore the substance; observe the Senators. Keep your eyes on Senators kamala Harris (D. Ca.), Angus King (Ind/D Maine) and Ron Wyden (D. Ore). Who will win the 15 second sound bite on the evening news? Did you know the Senate Intelligence Committee held a hearing today? Today’s witnesses, Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and National Security Agency Director Admiral Mike Rogers, provided nothing of substance for the Democrats today. There is no there, there. They rebutted some of the “bombshell” media The Democrats will show tomorrow a zeal they lacked on IRS, Benghazi, and Fast and Furious. They will huff and puff, grandstand for their 15 minutes of fame. The media will highlight anything, absolutely anything, that might make the President look bad. No matter how much James Comey despises President Trump, he has to be careful about what he says to avoid charges of perjury. He had already testified before Congress that he was not pressured by the President to drop the investigation of General Flynn. Here’s what we know from his 7 page opening statement released by the Committee today. He told the President three times that he was not a target of the investigation. The President asked for loyalty; Mr. Comey responded with “honesty.” The President wanted the FBI Director to give a break to General Flynn, but was not pressured to do so. Two Democrats Congressmen, Al Green of Texas and Brad Sherman of California, announced today that they are preparing articles of impeachment against President Trump for obstruction of justice. James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence, spoke before reporters in Canberra, Australia today. He said Watergate pales in comparison with President Trump and Russia. Was James Clapper serious? Watergate involved a breakin of the Democratic National Committee, followed by an orchestrated coverup by the President and his White House staff, including the Attorney General. Many of the staff went to prison. So far, there has not been shown to be an underlying crime. Second, isolated statements by the President do not constitute criminal behavior. Third, President Trump in his capacity as President has the power and right to fire members of the Executive Branch, such as the Director of the FBI, for any reason. Fourth, the FBI Director spent much of 2016 upsetting Democratic and Republican politicians for a series of inexplicable acts. Some fervent never-Trumpers may buy into the construct of Comey as a political martyr, but most Americans will not. Fifth, James Comey is no John Dean. Sixth, no evidence exists of any Trump Administration concerted action to stop the Russian investigation or even conspire with the Russians during the election campaign. Seventh, there is neither a smoking gun nor money trail. And yet, James Clapper in Australia and nor D.C., was the highpoint for the Democrats and media today. The media spent little time reporting on today’s Senate hearing. Tomorrow promises to be another yawner.

Monday, June 5, 2017

President Trump Scrapped the Paris Accord - Hardly a Step Towards Climate Armageddon

President Trump fulfilled one of his larger campaign promises. He scrapped the Paris Accord on global warning. It would seem like Armageddon on earth if you listen to the global outrage. If President Trump were a normal politician, he would have exercised one of two options. He could have left it in place, and then ignored it because it is not binding. Or he could have sent it to the Senate for ratification as a treaty, knowing the Senate on a bipartisan basis would have rejected it. President trump is not a normal politician. Instead he did the right thing. He rejected it outright. Period. The Paris Accord was a treaty between nations, no matter how President Obama tried to entangle the United States into an international accord by executive order without going through Congress, which never would have ratified it. Fareed Zakaria said the United States “resigns as head of the Free World.” He conveniently forgets that President Obama’s foreign policy was famously based on “Leading from behind.” President Trump’s is “America First.” President Trump said he represents the people from Pittsburgh, not Paris. 195 countries signed onto the Paris Accord. If you listen to President Trump’s critics and foreign leaders, President Trump has condemned the globe to ruination. Maureen Dowd, the great columnist for the New York Times, wrote “Trump Stomps Planet Earth.” They’re crying crocodile tears. The accord is not binding on any of the signatories, is unenforceable, and subject to change. No penalties exist for violations. Each of the 195 signatories self-determines its “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions,” (INDC) which became its non-binding obligation in the accord. For example, China, the leading greenhouse emitter in the world, agreed to increase its emissions annually until 2030, when it would cut back. If it cuts greenhouse gas emissions before 2030, it will do so because of internal political pressures and because the smog in Beijing and other major cities has become unacceptable. The third world, undeveloped countries would not make any representations that would hamper any economic development. Germany, having shut down its nuclear reactors, is increasing its use of coal. The New York Times even wrote “In truth, the agreement does not require any country to do anything ….” Thus, we are back to Gertrude Stein’s famous quote: “There is no there, there.” The only country that obligated itself to do anything was the United States to carry through on President Obama’s war on Coal. President Obama committed the United States to reduce greenhouse emissions by 26-28% of 2005 levels by 2020. Half of these levels have been met by electric utilities switching from coal to natural gas for economic reasons. Fracking has unleashed a flood of low cost natural gas into the market. China is the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide. It can continue to increase CO2 emissions for 15 years while the United States is engaged in a self-inflicted wound on its economy. India and Russia could continue to increase CO2 emissions while the United States shut down its reliable, cheap energy industries. The Obama bias was directed at all fossil fuels. The rest of the world is upset because President Trump will not preside over the ruination of the American economy. The Third World is upset because they will not be getting economic reparations from the United States. President Obama’s environmental policy reflected the beliefs of the blue coastal state. President Trump’s environmental policy represents the red states manufacturing heartland of America. They elected him to the Presidency. He said “It is time to put Youngstown, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania along with many, many other locations within our great country before Paris, France.” Cries of Armageddon flooded the media today, prophesizing a parade of horrors to the planet from global warming. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the President’s act a “devastating failure of historic proportions,” which is basically what he says of any action by President Trump. The Los Angeles Times called President Trump “reckless and irresponsible.” Al Gore simply calls him “irresponsible.” Tom Stayer, the Silicon Valley hedge fund gazillionaire and possible candidate for office in California, called it a “traitorous act.” Max Boot, the Los Angeles Times columnist, said “The President chooses nationalism over the planet.” President Trump chose sovereignty over global bureaucrats, of which the EU bureaucrats in Brussels are an example. The same outcries of Armageddon flooded the media in 2001 when President George W. Bush withdrew from the Kyoto Agreement. The Paris Accord was one of three Obama-Kerry international agreements which are incredibly disastrous and foolhardy by objective analysis. The first is the Iranian agreement in which the President shipped $1.4 billion in crash at night in unmarked planes to the mullahs of Iran. The idealistic, naive rationale was that the mullahs would use the money to improve the economic conditions of the Iranian people rather than using it to foster terrorism and military expansionism. This agreement puts the world at risk. The second was the agreement reinstating relations with Cuba as Cuba continues its brutal dictatorship. It continues to put the Cuban people at risk. The third is the Paris Accord, which puts the American economy at risk.. How empty is the existing Paris Accord? MIT researcher estimate that if the existing agreement is fully complied with, it will only result in a .2°Celcius reduction in temperature from the predicted increase. Always keep in mind though the climate change models to date have been highly inaccurate. A related agreement is the Global Climate Fund, which purports to transfer $100 billion to third world, undeveloped countries in reparations, sorry renewables and infrastructure, by 2020. President Obama committed the United States to $3 billion of the sum, and paid in $1 billion. So far, only the United States of the major greenhouse gas emitting countries, has paid into the fund. The irony of the response is that many global leaders, corporate leaders, governors, mayors, and university presidents have vowed to continue to adhere to the Paris Accord, which in fact has nothing to adhere to.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Kathy Griffin is a Two-Bit Semi-Comedic Bully Who Can't Handle a Backlash

Kathy Griffin is a “comedic” bully who, like most bullies, can’t handle it when the victims push back. Her comedic shtick can be described as unrefined Don Rickles. The late comedian hurled insults, but they weren’t malicious. Kathy Griffin said “I’m happy to do a beat down to Donald Trump – and also to Barron.” She said she would go straight at Barron, after calling President Trump a “piece of s—t.” A line exists, sometimes a fine line and sometimes a gray line, between the acceptable and unacceptable. An understood rule is to keep the President’s family out of it unless they become involved in political activity. Barron Trump is 11 years old and not politically involved. Kathy Griffin is also stupid and has inhaled too much of the Trump Derangement Syndrome. She figured she could score points with her fellow Hollywood crowd by outdoing them. Any late night show host can insult President Trump. Any politico could hurl obscenities at the President. Anyone can protest the President. Nope, she would do a visual stunt that will exceed anything done before. It would get her the 15 minutes of fame, or infamy. There’s few limits on how far one can go in criticizing the President as critics keep pushing the limits. He crossed the line. Kathy Griffin has freedom of speech to malign the President. Freedom of speech includes the visual. Freedom of speech allows her to maliciously, gleefully show the bloody decapitated head, a la ISIS, of President Trump. Freedom of speech does not prevent a blowback. She half expected a reaction, but not the one she received. The non-funny comedian is suddenly radioactive. She quickly issued a pro forma apology that sounded like it came off the internet. Conservatives and liberals on a bi-partisan basis were shocked. Her CNN New Year partner denounced her. CNN, normally hostile to President Trump, cancelled her annual show. Venues cancelled her upcoming performances. Very few, Jamie Foxx, Jim Carrey, and Alex Baldwin, defended her. Senator Franklin, the comedian in the Senate, initially supported her, but then sensing which way the wind was blowing, ran away from her. Kathy Griffin, if she had even half a brain, would have doubled down on her apology and then ducked for cover, riding out the storm, and then emerging as a penitent in a year or two. Alex Baldwin, Robert Downey, Jr., Mel Gibson, Rob Lowe, Hugh Grant and Martha Stewart have all found redemption. Nope, she hired Lisa Bloom as her attorney. Lisa has learned well from her mother, Gloria Allred, on how to attack. Her press conference was either an act of gross stupidity or rank paranoia. She lashed out at the “mob mentality pile on.” She blamed it on President Trump and his family: “What’s happening to me has never happened, ever in the history of this country, which is that a sitting President of the United States and his grown children and the First lady are personally, I feel, trying to ruin my life forever. Forever.” She said the President “He broke me,” but that she would continue to make fun of him. She added “He picked the wrong redhead.” She also said though that her career is ruined. She’s clearly clueless. Kathy Griffin should look up Kathleen Willie, Paula Jones, and Juanita Broaddrick. She also blamed old white men for her problems. The ladies of The View, no fans of President Trump, were also outraged by her conduct. They are not, last time I looked, old white men. It’s unfortunate she received death threats. It’s unfortunate that death threats are increasingly common in our society as a way to express outrage. She can dish it out, but not take it. Civil discourse is dying in our country. Kathy Griffin has contributed to the loss of civil discourse. Kathy Griffin showed herself to be a D- comedian with an F performance compounded by an F press conference.

Hillary Clinton Agonistes 2017

Hillary Clinton is at war. Hillary Clinton is at war with everyone except herself and perhaps her husband. She is bitter about her loss, lashing out in a state of denial. She needs to go away and fade quietly in the sunset unless she wants to become today’s Harold Stassen, who wouldn’t go away. As long as she pontificates and delves in self-delusion, the Democratic Party needs to move on but can’t. The Democrats need a constructive dialogue, not more polemics, histrionics, and recriminations. She was interviewed at a Recode Code Conference Wednesday in the highly affluent Palos Verdes, California. Speaking in Palos Verdes is illustrative of her out-of-touch campaign with the American people. Hillary boldly said “I take responsibility for every decision that I made – but that’s not why I lost.” She then blamed everyone else, except herself, for her loss to Donald Trump, starting with Donald Trump. She trashes her own supporters. She blamed the Russians, fake news, FBI Director Comey, and even the Macedonians for her lost. She dumped on the Democratic National Committee, saying that when she won the nomination, she inherited nothing from the DNC. The DNC was on the verge of insolvency, its data was mediocre to poor, non-existent, wrong. She said she got nothing from the DNC. She raised over $1 billion dollars for her campaign, but apparently wasted it. The Obama Campaign mastered data mining in 2012, but she was clueless. The DNC under Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schulz paved the road for her nomination, but no acknowledgment of their services to you. Her Wednesday interview was a Clinton compendium of fake news. She blamed President Obama for not being helpful to her campaign. She called out the New York Times for treating her personal server “like it was Pearl Harbor,” ignoring the fact that the Times and other mainstream media hammered Donald Trump seemingly non-stop. She ignored “Flyover” America full of a“ basket of deplorables.” That was her decision – not the Russians. She didn’t lost Wisconsin by 22,000 votes, Michigan by 11,000, Pennsylvania by 44,000, while barely holding onto Minnesota because of the Russians. She lost them in 2010 when the Republicans swept the Rust Belt., seizing control of almost every legislative branch and governorship. They did equally well in 2014. That Wisconsin, home of the Progressive Movement, turned conservative was a warning shot to Democrats. Her response was to ignore Wisconsin – not one campaign appearance. That was her decision – not the Russians. She blamed the loss on voter suppression. Her campaign strategy suppressed her vote in Wisconsin. She barely campaigned in Michigan. That was her decision – not the Russians. She took Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania for granted and campaign on a “I’m not Trump.” She declaimed Trump, saying “He really understands how to inflame people, how to motivate them, how to bond with them,” but she is the candidate who called the Trump voters “deplorables.” She is unable to connect with people, unlike her husband. She blamed FBI Director Comey for her loss. She should have been grateful he didn’t arrest her. She blamed sexism and misogyny for her loss, but that doesn’t explain her loss in 208 to Senator Barack Obama, an African American. She blamed the Russians for weaponizing technology with the help of the Trump Campaign to defeat her, which or may not have been the case, but she set up the server and conducted official government business on it. John Podesta fell for a phishing attack. The Trump campaign did not. The Clinton Campaign raised over a billion dollars on her campaign, but she often ignored the advice of her staff. She campaigned and hobnobbed with Hollywood celebrities, but ignored the hardworking blue collar workers of America. Hillary Clinton is delusional, remaining out of touch with reality. Thank God she’s not President.

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Media's Double Standard Dress Code Between Democratic and Republican Women

Did you know that First Lady Melania Trump wore a $51,500 Dolce & Gabbana Coat in Italy during the Trump foreign trip? You would if you read the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, and scores of other papers, or watched ABC or CNN. SF Gate, the internet site of the San Francisco Chronicle told us her coat was only $5,500 below the 2015 median household income in the United States. The New York Times on page 2 today said her “glamorous wardrobe … rotated between Michael Kors and Dolce & Gabbana.” Did you know on January 6, 2016 in her victory speech after winning the New York primary Secretary Hillary Clinton wore a $12,695 Georgia Armani jacket while speaking out against income inequality? Probably not; the media did not cover it. Governor Sarah Palin received the republican nomination for Vice President in 2008 under Presidential nominee Senator John McCain. She was a self-proclaimed “hockey mom” representing the people. The media trashed her in October 2008 because the GOP spent about $150,000 on clothes for her and her family for the campaign: $75,062 at Neiman Marcus, $49,425 at Saks Fifth Ave., $5,102.71 at Bloomingdales, $789.12 at Barneys New York. The clothes were to be donated to charity after the campaign The New York Times on October 22, 2008 wrote “so much for an ‘average hockey’” with the “expensive clothing from high-end stores.” ABC’s The View, NBC, Time, U.S. News & World reports, Washington Post, Vanity Fair, Huffington Post, Politico, Slate and a host of others joined the attacks. Senator McCain was roasted over his 8 homes, but not a peep about the sweetheart arrangement that the Obamas received on their Chicago house. The purpose was to make the McCain-Palin ticket out of touch with America at a time Americans were hurting economically. The vicious attacks on Governor Palin were non-stop by the media. Many in the media touted First lady Michelle Obama as the second coming of Jacqueline Kennedy. Michelle was not Jackie. Nor could she be. Every presidency is unique. So too is every First Lady. Each is a star and exemplar in her own right. I would say that both Michelle Obama and Melania trump are beautiful women who exude class. Big items, little items; it's all part of a campaign to bring down conservatives and in this case the Trump Administration. The media keeps lowering and belittling itself from their constant, personalized attacks on conservatives

Sunday, May 28, 2017

1967: The Summer of Love; 2017: The Summer of Hate?

Memorial Day Weekend is the traditional kickoff of summer. 1967 was the Summer of Love, emanating out of San Francisco and the Haight Asbury. San Francisco had earlier gone through the Folk Era and Carol Doda and Topless on Broadway. None approached the Summer of Love in fame and tourist dollars dropped in San Francisco. San Francisco’s Folk Era featured the Smothers Brothers, The Kingston Trio, and the Limeliters. Rock had pushed folk out by 1967, but the San Francisco scene had evolved into psychedelic rock. Grace Slick and the Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Company, Sly and the Family Stone, Santana, often at Billy Graham’s Fillmore Theatre. The first and last Monterey International Pop Festival June 16-18 in the Summer of 19967 brought them all together from around the world: American, British (the Beatles Sgt. Pepper also was released in June), folk, rock, psychedelic rock. Scott McKenzie sand “If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear flowers in your hair.” Check out the 3:03 music video on YouTube. Eric Burdon and the Animals released San Franciscan Nights and Monterey. The Haight Asbury Hippies, the counter culture, drugs, head shops, peace symbols, underground papers, especially the Berkeley Barb, long hair, love beads, posters, Flower Children Jann Wenner published Vol. 1, No. 1 of Rolling Stone The Summer of Love, Free Love I had a ringside seat to the Summer of Love. The University of San Francisco is 6 blocks from the famous corner of Haight and Ashbury. I often walked to USF that summer along Haight Street. Haight Street was a phenomenon greater than Broadway a few years earlier. The sidewalks and cars were so jammed together that the quickest way to walk along Haight would have been on the roofs of the cars. Mondays and Fridays saw long lines around the block from the Bank of America as the Flower Children and Hippies were cashing their checks from home. This summer is the Summer of Hate, mostly directed at Donald Trump and conservatives. 1967 was the summer of the Flower Children. 2017 is the summer of the Snowflake. The mainstream print media drips a daily drop of venom on President Trump. The TV stations selectively edit the day’s news to diminish the President and his team. Fake news shows up on both. 1967 was the Summer of Love. 2017 witnesses college professors and students wanting President Trump impeached, killed, silenced, imprisoned. The campus snowflakes and academic Neanderthals want trigger warnings and safe spaces for themselves, but not only seek to muzzle opposing speakers but also often engage in violence. Conservative professors are muzzled. Professor Laura Kipnis at Northwestern is learning the price of deviating from the academy’s orthodoxy. Administrators have been cashiered. Berkeley students rioted in the 1960’s for free speech. Berkeley students in 2017 riot to suppress speech. A Fresno State history professor tweeted President Trump “must hang.” An Orange Coast Community College professor in class called trump’s election “an act of terrorism.” She was voted Faculty of the Year while the student who secretly taped her class was initially suspended. An assistant math professor of color at the University of Hawaii has demanded that white professors get out of the way, quit their jobs or take a demotion. Many of our colleges and professors are teaching hate in 2017. And then there’s the California Democratic Party. The Party met in Sacramento a week ago to elect its new officers. John Burton, the former Congressman and alcoholic, and outgoing chair of the California Democratic Party, raised a one finger salute to President Trump and then led the delegates in a rousing chant of “F--- Donald Trump.” Such is the state of discourse in America today.

California Democrats Are Hyperventilating Over Single Payer Healthcare

A modern clichĂ© is that California leads the nation. Justice Brandeis wrote a century ago that states are the laboratories of democracy. If so, California’s Democrats are attempting to experiment with a single payer healthcare system. The California Senate will vote this week on S.B. 562, The Health California Act, and send it to the House. If enacted, the State California will become the payer of all healthcare costs California. It will lead the nation, as the final coffin is nailed on our once great private healthcare system. California has increasingly become a one–party state, with the Democrats controlling all state elected positions and a supermajority in both branches of the legislature. The progressive Sanders wing of the party is becoming the dominant force, pushing California ever-further to the left. They know no restraint. California thereby wishes to replace the cold, heartless, greedy capitalistic, profit seeking, but efficient, insurance companies with a cold, heartless, bloated, inefficient state bureaucracy. Three modern examples should show the failures of single payers. The first is the United States Veterans Administration. (VA). Second, the Indian Health Service has not received the same poor publicity as the VA, but its record is very poor. If we cross the Atlantic to England, we find that England’s National Health Service is the largest employer in England, but not noted for efficiency. Its rules “guarantee” an appointment on routine matters within 18 weeks! S.B. 562 proposal is both regressive and reactionary. The progressiveness speaks for itself. It’s reactionary as a reaction to the complaints and horror stories of insurance companies. Thus there are no cost controls built into the plan. All residents of California will be covered, including the undocumented and the homeless who will flock to California. No co-pays No more Medicare premiums/co-pays No out-of-pocket costs for covered services No deductibles Access to all providers No referrals required; i.e. no gatekeeper The plan will include medical, dental, vision, mental health, and nursing homecare. Lower prescription costs It’s truly “pie in the sky” The legislators are hyperventilating on the prospects of single payer. Or Are they hallucinating on medical marijuana? In true liberal legislation, the Legislature is unconcerned about costs. It thereby includes no provisions for financing the program. The Legislative Analyst estimates the cost of the programs would be $400 billion annually. Governor Brown’s proposed state budget for next year, which includes education, prisons, medical, entitlements and everything else, is $290 billion. The state estimates that it currently has access to, and thus can redirect, about $200 billion in healthcare revenues through Medi-Cal, Medicare, Obamacare subsidies, and public health funds. California spends $106 billion on Medi-Cal, of which $68 billion comes from the federal government. That leaves a deficit of $200 billion. No taxes are in the bill. Therefore, it does not need a super-majority to pass the Legislature. The legislature is supposed to develop “a revenue plan” in the future. Whenever! Estimates are that a 15% employment tax will be needed to fund the program. That 15% would be on top of the existing 15.2% federal tax. It will be a job killer in California. Passage in the House and Senate are essentially assured. The only question is if Governor Brown will sign or veto it. The last time California enacted a truly radical proposal was about 2 decades ago when it purported to deregulate electricity while ignoring all basic rules of economics. It mandated the private utilities sell off ½ their fossil fuel capacity. It deregulated the wholesale price of electricity while freezing, thereby regulating, the retail price charged consumers. The bill prohibited the three private utilities from entering into long term contracts with electricity suppliers. Instead, they could only buy a day forward in the wholesale market. The state had not built new generating facilities in over a decade while its population grew. The state had limited transmission capacity between Northern and Southern California. California’s electric supply was ripe for manipulation, which Enron and others quickly realized. A drought in the Pacific Northwest reduced electricity to California. Suddenly, in 2000-01 the state was hit with rolling blackouts. Pacific Gas & Electric entered bankruptcy while Southern California Edison came perilously close when the wholesale daily rates shot through the roof. California just might do it. Unlimited demand; no increase in supply. The powerful California Nurses Association is the sponsor of the bill. It says “You’re going to pay less and get better service, and your money’s worth.” Just like ObamaCare. A recipe for disaster. It will be quite an experiment. Californians may pine for the return of ObamaCare.

Friday, May 26, 2017

The CBO Issues Yet Another Fundamentally Flawed ObamaCare Financial Report

The House of representatives passed a repeal and reform of ObamaCare. The bill is before the Senate, which will make substantial changes to it. The House acted without a scoring by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The Contortionist Budget Office issued its contorted report Wednesday. The headlines screamed “23 million to lose healthcare under Republican Plan.” Democrats are ecstatic. The numbers did not make sense, but it took a few days to get the details. Three major groups of individuals are in ObamaCare. The first is over a million individuals forced into Obamacare when their pre-existing health plans were cancelled by ObamaCare. They would love to get back that which they had before, but that probably can’t happen. Remember President Obama’s repeated claims “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” and “If you like your insurance company, you can keep it?” That was at best a gross misrepresentation. The second group are the young adults forced into ObamCare by the individual mandate. They want out. Many would have been satisfied with a catastrophic health insurance plan, but not the high premium, high deductible, poor coverage plans forced upon them. The CBO estimates 2 million dropping down to a limited benefits plan, such as catastrophic health insurance. THE CBO labels them “uninsured.” The third group are those who want to and need to be on ObamaCare – those with preexisting conditions who could not previously obtain health insurance. Contrary to Democratic demagoguery, the Republicans have clearly provided that these beneficiaries will not be stripped of their medical coverage. The CBO predicted enrollment in the exchanges of 7 million in 2014 13 million in 2015 24 million in 2016 26 million in 2017 The actual enrollment figures are 6 million in 2014 11 million in 2015 12 million in 2016 10 million in 2017 The CBO overestimated the exchange enrollment by 160%. It appears that the missing 16 million have already lost coverage under current ObamaCare. Yet with total enrollment of 10 million, the CBO projects 14 million Americans will lose their coverage in 2018 and 23 million by 2026 compared to the status quo of ObamaCare. A critical part of ObamaCare is to increase enrollment in Medicaid, enacted in 1966 as part of President Johnson’s Great Society to provide medical care to the poor. A major restriction was that eligibility would exist for those living under the poverty level. The ObamaCare Medicaid expansion raised the limit to 138% of the poverty level and eliminated other restrictions. 31 states and the district of Columbia signed onto the Medicaid Extension. The first three years brought a 100% reimbursement from the federal government to attract the state buy in. It is being phased down to 95% this year and 90% by 2020. About 12 million have taken advantage of the Medicaid extension. The 10 million in Obamacare and the 12 million in the Medicaid Extension add up to 22 million. Simple question: How did the CDC arrive at a loss of 23 million? The CDC estimated in 2014 that the Medicaid Extension would cost the federal government $42 billion in 2015. The actual cost was $68 billion, a 62% error. Why believe the CBO numbers? Medicaid is not necessarily a Godsend to beneficiaries. Reimbursement rates to medical providers are often very low, resulting in large numbers of doctors rejecting Medicaid patients. The beneficiaries are thus in many states subject to poor access with limited reimbursements. The CBO projections were hopelessly flamed for three reasons. The first was a poor model. With all due respect to Professor Jonathon Gruber, models cannot predict human and market behavior in situations like this. The second reason is poor assumptions that were plugged into the model. The old adage is at work: Garbage in, garbage out.” The third reason is that the “non-partisan” CBO spent months massaging the figures with Congressional Democrats to give the CBO figures a favorable number. The CBO has not acted in a non-partisan manner throughout the ObamaCare debate. The 2010 CBO projections showed a favorable $940 billion effect on the federal budget. This magic number was reached by including all 10 years of tax increases, but only 6 years of spending on ObamaCare. Like a magician, the CBO numbers disappeared. The CBO revised its numbers in 2012 to project a $109 billion budget deficit over 2013-2022 - a one trillion dollar, negative adjustment! The Contortionist Budget Office in 2015 predicted that repealing ObamaCare would add $353 billion to the budget deficit. The CBO now projects the Republican House bill will reduce the budget deficit by $119 billion. The CBO is clueless! Obamacare was always from the beginning an income redistributionist scheme. It raised and imposed dozens of taxes totaling over $1 trillion. The House Bill reduces taxes by $662 billion, which will provide a boost to the economy. ObamaCare is in a death spiral. Individual insurance premiums have risen 105% on the exchanges since 2013, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Premiums are skyrocketing, deductibles are high, and coverage limited while insurers are bailing out. Supporters of the statute blame the current instability in the insurance market on President Trump, who has made it clear that he wants to stop the subsidies to the insurance companies. Aetna, Humana, and United Healthcare announced prior to the 2016 election, an election in which Secretary Clinton, was projected to win in a landslide, that they were baling out of the exchanges. The insurance companies have lost over $5.8 billion on the existing plans despite federal subsidies. The underlying problem in any plan is the pre-existing condition patient. That was the problem facing the ObamaCare planners. That is the problem facing the Republicans today. It is not easy to solve.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Media, and Presidents Nixon, Ford, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush and President Trump

Rush Limbaugh stirred up controversy when he said 4 days before President Obama’s inauguration: “I hope he fails.” He subsequently “clarified” his statement: “I want him to fail, if his agenda is a far-left collectivism.” Unfortunately, President Obama succeeded in fulfilling much of his far-left collectivism, but failed the American people. The media and politicians were outraged by Russ’ statement; they went ballistic. Today’s mainstream media not only wants President Trump to fail, but they also are in a campaign to destroy his presidency. Their actions are the most vicious since President Nixon’s Administration. They believed that they through Woodstein brought down the Nixon Presidency and forced his disgraceful resignation. “Watergate” was a Washington Post exclusive. It was based on a series of leaks by Mark Feld, the disgruntled Deputy Director of the FBI. He had been passed over for FBI Director by President Nixon. The Watergate Hearings were broadcast live with John Dean’s testimony riveting. The media and President Nixon had a tortured relationship going back to 1948. Richard Nixon as a Representative and then as a Senator got famous for his actions against Communists in the government. He was instrumented in the unmasking of Alger Hiss as a communist spy. Direct evidence is lacking today of Hiss’ spying, but with the release of the Soviet archives, consensus has developed that Alger Hiss was guilty. Vice President Nixon narrowly lost the 1960 Presidential election, perhaps because of voter fraud in Chicago and Texas. Not a peep from the media. They loved JFK. The Vice President was defeated for Governor of California by incumbent Pat Brown. He uttered these remarks in his concession speech: “You don’t have Nixon to kick around, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference.” Richard Nixon is proof of the adage that “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.” Some commentators believe President Ford lost the 1976 election because of Chevy Chase and Saturday Night Live. Chevy portrayed President Ford as a stumbling, fumbling, klutz Also stupid, eventhough President Ford was a graduate of Yale Law School. Chevy Chase subsequently admitted he wanted Jimmy Carter to win. They tried and failed with Reagan, portraying him as a stupid, trigger happy, loose cannon. President George H.W. Bush was pictured as out of touch with ordinary Americans. President George W. Bush, a graduate of Yale and Harvard Business School, was stupid. He was also incompetent, as shown by the government’s response to Katrina. The reality is that it was the Democratic Governor Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Negrin who were responsible for the post hurricane chaos in New Orleans. George W. Bush turned the economy around and recorded large gains in employment until the real estate market collapsed on his watch setting off the Great Recession. The media kept saying as employment grew that the job increases were in ow paying jobs. So too with President Obama's tepid job growth equally in low paying jobs, but they were silent on the type of jobs. If the media is obsessed with lies and fact-checking President Trump, then what about President Obama? Where do we begin? I guess those jobs weren’t so shovel ready after all If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor You can keep your insurance company Benghazi Fast and Furious Details of the Iran deal VA IRS How about nobody’s “been a better friend of Israel” eventhough he dispatched money and operatives to Israel to defeat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu? Obama’s Misstatements Where to begin? I’ve campaigned in all 57 states with one to go. How about his statement about the founding of America: Islam was one of America’s founding religions “woven into the fabric of our country since its foundation.” America was founded as a WASP country, White, Anglo-Saxon Protestant. Vice President Dan Quayle, also portrayed as stupid, was reviled by the media for saying “potato” could be spelt with an “e”, as in “potatoe.” George W. Bush The New York Times and other newspapers sent a team to Florida to independently recount the votes in Florida. President Bush also won that recount. The media and Democrats castigated the Bush Administration on Valerie Plame’s disclosure of being a CIA agent by a columnist As to Governor Sarah Palin, Vice President Candidate, the media “parachuted” a couple dozen parachutists into Anchorage and Wasilla, Alaska to flyspeck her public and personal life, and to question her intelligence Tina Fay and Saturday Night Live (once again) destroyed her image “I can see Russia from my house.” That was Tina, not Sarah. Any misstatement blown up But not Obama 57 states and one to go Obama’s lies How about Clinton’s Russian connection? Uranium deal Hacked emails Clinton Foundation The donations The expenditures The compulsive lying? The media ignores the constant drip of misstatements by Vice President Joe Biden. The media is unabashly trying to destroy President Trump and his agenda. The late show hosts take mean shots at President Trump to boost their ratings. Stephen Colbert has lashed out in an vicious, expletive deleted rant against president TrumpIt takes no courage to lash out at someone when they are not there to protect themselves or respond. President Trump’s problem is that he ran an unconventional campaign with many snarly remarks. He vows to “drain the swamp.” He has expressed contempt for the media, as do his supporters. It’s a problem because the swamp does not want to be drained. It is fighting back through leaks to a complaint media. Russ Limbaugh said of President Obama “I hope he fails.” Representative John Lewis told NBC President Trump was not “a legitimate President.” Representative Maxine Waters called for impeachment almost as soon as President Trump’s inauguration. 67 Democrats boycotted the Trump Inauguration. The media in its animus towards President Trump will not let the facts get in the way of a good anti-Trump story. The Washington Post was wrong over a week ago in writing FBI Director James Comey had requested more funding. Denials came from every direction. The Washington Post was wrong a few days back in saying Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein threatened to resign. Denials came from every direction. The Washington Post reported yesterday that President Trump breached national security by giving secret intelligence information to the Russians. Denials all around; the story was false. The New York Times is now reporting on a memo Comey wrote in which he said President Trump asked him to drop the investigation into General Flynn. At least that’s what we’ve told the memo says. Even the Times has not seen it yet. If we are going to see that memo, then we should also see all of Comey’s letters relating to President Trump or Secretary Clinton. Not happening, at least yet. The New York Times and Washington Post have not yet reached the level of the Los Angeles Times in an editorial entitles “Our Dishonest President.” It included such words and phrases as ‘Narcissist,” “demagogue,” “magnitude of train wreck,” and “his utter lack of regard for truth.” MSNBC hit a journalistic low in another way. Mika Brzezinski on “Morning Joe” revealed ioff the record comments that Trump Campaign Manager and now White House Counsel Kellyanne Conway had supposedly said highly negative things about President trump. Once of President Nixon’s aides say to the President that the media was extremely biased. President Nixon essentially replied “Get over it.” A double standard clearly exists in the media in covering conservatives.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

President Trump Showed he Is a Decisive Leader in Firing FBI Director James Comey

President Trump sent a message when he sent 60 cruise missiles to Syria. President Trump sent the same message yesterday when he fired FBI Director James Comey. President is a strong, decisive leader. He will take action when he thinks it is needed. No dithering No appeasement No apologies Bold, decisive action His version of President Reagan and the air traffic controllers And the Democrats? A reflexive call for “Special Prosecutor!” The Democrats and media are hyperventilating over the firing of Comey, just as they hyperventilated many times in the election, Trump’s first 100 days, and in future. Maybe, one of these times, they might connect with the American public. But after months of lambasting Comey, they are now trying to make him a martyr. You have to read George Orwell’s 1984 to understand the gyrations. Steve Carrell went onto his show and announced that President Trump had fired James Comey. The audience cheered – not the reaction the anti-trump Colbert expected. The Democrats and media are proclaiming a constitutional crisis. Senator Blumenthal (D. Ct.) joined Representatives Maxine Waters, Al Green, Jared Huffman, John Yarmuth, Mark Pocan, Hakeen Jeffries, Tulsi Gabbard, Keith Ellison, Joaquin Castro, and Jamie Raskin in using the “impeachment” word. And for James Comey? He should have been fired months ago. Incompetence Grandstanding He has a history of mistakes at the FBI. The San Bernardino and Orlando Pulse Nightclub occurred on his watch as the FBI flubbed the investigations. He followed up the San Bernardino tragedy by demanding Apple provide the tools to unlock the shooter’s IPhone5S four digit pin number. He wanted the ability to break into any IPhone, using San Bernardino as the lever to do so. Apple stood by its customers. An outside supplier ultimately sold a solution to the Justice Department. He appointed his good pal, Pat Fitzgerald (two peas in a pod) as special prosecutor in the Valerie Plame investigation. Valerie was a CIA analyst, whose CIA identity was ostensibly disclosed eventhough she was not undercover. The question was who leaked it to Robert Novak, the columnist? The media and Democrats went ballistic, hoping to nail the Bush Administration, especially Karl Rove, for illegally disclosing her identity. They were even dreaming at the prospect of an indictment of the Vice President. Fitzgerald quickly identified the source, Richard Armitage, an assistant to Secretary of State Colin Powell, and an opponent of the war. Fitzgerald though did not stop at that point; instead, he continued the investigation. He indicted Scooter Libby, the national security advisor to Vice President Chaney on five counts of providing false statements to an FBI agent. He mishandled the Clinton email scandal. He has been quiet about the leaks of the President’s telephone calls and of General Michael Flynn. Rod Rosenstein, the career prosecutor, confirmed three weeks ago by the Senate as Deputy Attorney General, wrote a letter recommending the termination. He represented the view of the career FBI agents and United States Attorneys who were shocked and chagrined by Comey’s July and October unprofessional behavior. The FBI investigates and U.S. Attorneys prosecute. They have separate and distinct roles. Comey both investigated and made the decision to not prosecute. Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein wrote: “[T]he FBI Director is never empowered to supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department.” Comey’s press statement on July 5 was “a textbook example of what federal prosecutors and agents are taught not to do.” He usurped the powers of the Attorney General. Attorney General Lynch may have been compromised because of the tarmac meeting with President Clinton, but she had not recused herself. If she couldn’t make the decision, then the Deputy Attorney general, Sally Yates, could have done so. The FBI Director took it upon himself to make the decision to not prosecute. Not only did he violate Justice department protocol in doing so, but he also rewrote the statute to include an intent requirement. Her conduct of gross negligence violated the statute. He further failed to understand a rule of the FBI. The Director of the FBI, unlike a prosecutor, does not revel in the limelight. As Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein wrote: “It is not the function of the director to make such an announcement. … Compounding the error, the director ignored another longstanding principle: We do not press conferences to release derogatory information about the subject of a declined criminal investigation.” James Comey acquired a reputation both as a shrew political operative and as untouchable in his job. The Democrats wanted Comey fired because he cost Secretary Clinton the election. Now he is a martyr, the victim of a conspiracy, a cover up. Nixon, Nixonian, Watergate, Saturday Night Massacre are flooding the airways. To understand how the Democrats and media could turn in an instance, please read George Orwell’s 1984. Senator Ron Wyden echoed Watergate: “Follow the Money.” By all means follow the money to the Clinton Foundation and President Clinton in Secretary Clinton signing off on a Russian company acquiring 20% of the United States uranium supply. Follow the money on Secretary Clinton’s Russian reset. James Comey became FBI Director on September 13, 2013 after prostrating himself before President Obama. Comey wanted the position. He then owed President Obama. The debt was paid in the October news conference when he exonerated Secretary Clinton. We are witnessing the next 3½ years as the Democrats and media combine to trash President Trump every conceivable second for any conceivable reason. Right or wrong, he will always be wrong and his motives questioned in their eyes. They won’t let the facts get in the way of sliming President Trump. It didn’t work during the campaign. It won’t work now. They still don’t understand President Trump. He may be unconventional, but he is decisive.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Harvard Students Are Overly Stressed by a Fifty Cent Library Fine

Harvard announced it was eliminating standard fines of fifty cents/day for overdue library books. The fines were too stressful for students. Steven Beardsley, Harvard’s associate director for access services administrative operations and special projects, emailed: “We have witnessed first-hand the stress that overdue fines can cause for students.” That must have been very traumatic! Beardsley added: “Eliminating standard overdue fines and standardizing loan periods across Harvard’s libraries should help students focus on their scholarship, rather than worrying about renewing library books every 28 days in order to avoid fines.” The best and brightest, the future leaders of America and the Free World, the pinnacle of American higher education, cannot handle a fifty cent fine. They cannot handle a 28 day return period. They’re freaked out by $.50. Forget the $50,000 tuition and fees. Don’t worry about the parking tickets in Boston and Cambridge. What if they don’t pay a speeding ticket or fail to appear for a DWI? Do they understand what a bench warrant is? Wait until they face their student loans. What if they miss a car payment? Or rent? How about broken relationships? What will happen when their computer crashes? How will they handle a rejection letter from a prospective employer or graduate program? Maybe their helicopter parents can’t fly in to fix the 50 cent fine. Just wait to they have to join the real world and face real deadlines with real demands from real employers in a real job with real performance requirements. Perhaps the real problem is that their generation is not used to hard copy. They’re wizzes on the mouse and the IPhone, but they can’t adjust if it’s not available on Apple. Taking responsibility is a critical stage in growing up. Our generation was told to “suck it up,” “grow up,” “get over it,” and “deal with it.” This generation is told to seek counseling. And they do. 40% of Harvard’s seniors said they used the University Health Service during their 4 years. They reported stress at higher rates than the national average. 20-25% of the undergrads report using the mental health service each year. It can’t be the academics. The median grade at Harvard is an A- with the most common grade a straight A. 90% graduate with honors. The Harvard degree opens the door to graduate and professional schools and the job market. Too many are on psychotropics when they enter Harvard, or the nation’s other top universities. They’re missing out on fundamental life skills. Instead they’ve being encouraged in their self-indulgence. Whiners are coddled. Their sense of entitlement keeps growing.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Yale Republicans Fired up the BBQ Next to Symbolic Non-hunger Hunger Strikers

Yale grad students are on a hunger strike demanding Yale engage them in collective bargaining. Hunger strikes can be effective in creating change, but not this time. Gandhi engaged in 17 fasts/hunger strikes totaling 135 days in South Africa and India. His noble purposes were to promote Indian independence and the plight of the India people. He rode trains around Indi, always in third class, the cramped, non-air conditioned, often standing accommodations. This class became known as Gandhi Class. The “hunger” striking Yale graduate students currently receive free tuition and a stipend of $30,000. If they are single, they receive half of the health insurance premiums if married. They receive 100% if married with a child. They earn Yale degrees. Gandhi suffered for the people, his people. The Yalis are doing it for themselves. Women suffragettes engaged in hunger strikes a century ago in England and the United States in the noble cause of woman suffrage. Several died in the effort. They suffered for women rights. Our Yale “hunger” strikers are engaged in a symbolic hunger strike. They are free to eat when they feel hunger pangs. They’re not suffering. Several imprisoned IRA members engaged in hunger strikes in Belfast prison in 1980 and 1981. Ten died, including Bobby Sands who was elected to Parliament during his fast. They suffered for the Irish people, Catholic and Protestant. Cesar Chavez often engaged in hunger strikes for the farm workers, his people, the under-privileged farm workers. The Yalis are of the privileged class in America. I have trouble picturing them chanting “Solidarity Forever” even if they are members of Local 33 Unite Here International Union. They are not the UAW workers at the Ford Overpass 80 years ago May 26, 1937. The Yale graduate students are not the GM workers staging a sit-in in Flint, Michigan on December 29, 2036. Those strikers risked their lives. Our Yale students are making, at best, a symbolic sacrifice. Yale has not recently been the champion of promoting free speech and open dialogues. It scraped John C. Calhoun because of his slavery past. It refused to support two masters because some students were offended by their statements 1 1/2 year ago. Yale might under different circumstances have shut down the BBQ because it is “offensive” to other students. However, Yale has a three decade record of fighting employee and staff organizing and collective bargaining.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

President Trump's First 100 Days: Making America Great Again!

Always remember President Trump’s major campaign pledge to the American people: “Make America Great Again.” He wants to restore America’s economic, military, and foreign policy greatness. He started with appointing strong, successful cabinet officials. The media tells us President Trump has been an abject failure in his first 100 days. CNN surveyed its correspondents. Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm led off the parade. The former liberal Democrat Michigan Governor, who ran Michigan into the ground in 8 years, and then promptly fled Michigan for Berkeley immediately after her term ended, rated the President a solid “F.” She said President Trump’s “honeymoon is the worst we’ve seen in modern times” and “Divorce … can’t come quick enough.” Van Jones, the leftish commentator, graded President Trump a solid “F-“. President Trump has succeeded, if nothing else, not only by surviving but also persevering despite a relentless venomous attack by the media. They couldn’t destroy him in the general election. They won’t do it now. From their perspective, he either fails, as with not repealing ObamaCare, or by not doing anything. The Wall is not built. Tax reform will be dead in the water. His travel ban and sanctuary city orders were stopped by federal judges. Thus he is an empty suit or blowhard by their measurement. President Trump faced an incredible handicap in his first 100 days. He is trying to clean up the 8year mess left by President Obama, the Obama Administration, and Obama’s “independent” agencies. He can’t overturn 8 years in 100 days. If President Trump does nothing, he will still be better than President Obama, as would have a President Romney. If President Trump does nothing, he will still be better than Secretary Hillary Clinton. The true legacy of FDR’s first 100 days was changing the atmosphere in DC and America during the depths of the Great Depression. President Trump is changing the current atmosphere in America. He is restoring the spirit of American Exceptionalism, not-withstanding the media, the academic left, and Hollywood. Remember, “Make America Great Again.” Washington is a deep swamp; it will not drain in 100 days. President Trump has actually accomplished more than his predecessors since FDR in the first hundred days. What has he done? Judge Neal Gorsuch, a strong conservative, was confirmed to the Supreme Court in 90 days. The judicial filibuster on Supreme Court justices was abrogated, thanks to Senator Harry Reid. The Keystone Pipeline was approved. The Dakota Access Pipeline was approved. He ended the War on Coal and the War on Guns. President Trump recognizes the American economy and life style is based on cheap energy. He restored our historic relationship with Israel. He scuttled the Trans-Pacific Partnership. President Trump got Canada and Mexico to agree to reopen NAFTA. He imposed a 20% tariff on Canadian lumber. President Trump knows where his base is. President Obama governed partially through executive orders. President Trump has already rescinded several of the Obama executive orders, with more to come. He rescinded the Obama Executive Order barring off-shore drilling in the Arctic (115 million acres) and Atlantic (3.8 million acres). That will not start the drilling, but it unfreezes the process. President Obama in his final months pursuant to the Antiquities Act of 1906 designated two national monuments, the 1,351,849 acres Bear Eyes National Monument in Utah and the 296,937 acres Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada. The Bears Eyes National Monument was especially controversial, being opposed by Utah’s political leaders. President Trump directed Secretary of the Interior to review the status of all national monuments over 10,000 acres in size created since January 1, 1996. No President has ever rescinded a national monument, and no case law exists on the issue. If President Trump rescinds or reduces one of these monuments, a monumental legal battle will ensue. President Trump early initiated a freeze on federal employment. Both the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency are seeking to cut thousands of jobs in their agencies. The President also seeks a 1/3 drop in the EPA’s budget. He’s directed the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to revisit the “waters of the United States) (WOTUS) rule, and the EPA to redo the Clean Power Plan, especially carbon dioxide emissions levels. He’s addressing the VA debacle. The fate of the Paris Accords is still in the air. The mpg requirements for the auto industry are also under review. He ordered to eliminate two existing regulations for every new one they issue. He reasserted a strong American foreign policy. The cruise missiles in Syria and moab (the Mother of All Bombs) in Afghanistan told the world America is back. His foreign policy is based on strength rather than apology and appeasement. He is reasserting American leadership in the world. President Trump does not lead from behind. He is reviving the Reagan program of rebuilding the American military. He unleased Governor Nikki Haley on the United Nations, much to the consternation of the State Department curia. President Trump, allegedly the “Russian candidate” and the ”good friend of Vladimir Putin” has chilled relations with Russia while warming up to China. He is releasing the yoke on American business. The FTC is in the process of rescinding the “Net Neutrality” Rule. He continues to fight the export of American jobs to Mexico and overseas. He is restriction the H1B Program to stop the discrimination against American jobs. The Wall is not built, but illegal immigration is down about 70% along the Southern border. ICE is back to both deporting illegals committing crimes, despite the opposition of sanctuary cities and states. The 100 Day benchmark, which goes back to FDR’s classic 100 Days, is deceiving, FDR measured by legislative days, not calendar days. The Republican Congress with President Trump’s signature has reversed to date over a dozen Obama Administration regulations pursuant to the Administrative Review Act, with more to come. President Trump showed in his business career that he gets things done. President Trump still has many days to go. Making America Great, Again

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

President Trump's Problems with the Ninth Circuit: An Alternative Theory; He Angered the Brethren by insulting Judge Curiel

President Trump’s Problem With Ninth Circuit Judges: An Alternative Theory President Trump is getting skewered by federal district judges in Seattle, Hawaii, and now San Francisco as well as the Ninth circuit. The ultra-liberal Ninth Circuit is judicially trashing the Trump Administration. The judges either did not read or consider the law, the statutes, or precedence. Judge Robart in Seattle and Judge Orrick in San Francisco looked outside the record to consider campaign statements by candidate Trump in striking down the immigration and sanctuary cities orders. That is not judicially appropriate! The district judges know their anti-trump decisions will almost automatically be affirmed by the Ninth Circuit. The Ninth Circuit appellate judges know the Supreme Court cannot hear all their bad decisions. Even if reversed, the preliminary injunctions will stay in effect for years. Just blame it on the liberal justices. Let me suggest that another reason is also behind their anti-Trump animus. It goes back to law school at the University of San Francisco in the late 1960”s. The Jesuit USF was considered a “local” law school in the vernacular of the times unlike the prestigious national law schools. We were taught the law rather than policy. We learned about the Courthouse and not White Shoes. We also knew that our future was not in the Wall Street firms. Heller Ehrman, Brobeck, and Thelan, now all defunct, would not interview us. That was fine; we learnt the law. Several were destined to become incredible trial lawyers. Thus, we were also taught the realities of practicing law. One was that when you tried a case outside your jurisdiction, be sure to retain local counsel to sit at counsel’s table. Else you will be home towned. The second lesson was that judges were a “fraternity,” now a “fraternity and sorority.” They stick together. Even if initially appointed to the bench, California judges must stand for reelection. Except for the state Supreme Court justices, the elections are contested. The lesson was “Don’t run against a sitting judge, unless you expect to win.” Otherwise the judges will consistently rule against you. The problem President Trump faces with the federal judges on the West Coast is that he “took” one of them out during the election. Federal District Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel, sitting in San Diego, issued rulings against the Trump defense in the Trump University litigation. Donald Trump was unhappy with these rulings. Judge Curiel is a second generation American of Mexican descent. He was born, raised, and educated in Indiana – a Hoosier. Candidate Trump said of Judge Curiel at a May campaign rally in San Diego: “This [case] should have been dismissed on summary judgment easily. Everybody says it, but I gave a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump. He is a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel …. “We are in front of a hostile judge. The judge was appointed by Barack Obama …. “So what happens is the judge, who happens to be, we believe Mexican, which is great ….” Candidate Trump continued in this vein in the upcoming days. He asserted Judge Curiel had an “absolute conflict” because of his Mexican heritage: “Let me just tell you. I have had horrific rulings. I’ve been treated very unfairly by this judge. Now, this judge is of Mexican heritage. I’m building a wall, OK? I’m building a wall.” He alluded to Judge Curiel being in La Raza. Donald Trump was roundly criticized for his comments about Judge Curiel. Must people have forgotten these statements from 11 months. I believe Judge Curiel’s brethren in the Ninth Circuit have not. It's not a conspiracy of the judges - just the ethos and mores of the Bench.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Here's a croc of a Story: Nile Crocs Eat White Hunter in Zimbabwe

Scott van Zyl disappeared last week on a hunting safari in Zimbabwe. The South African hunter was accompanied by a Zimbabwe tracker and a pack of dogs. They left their pickup track and went in opposite directions. The dogs returned hours later without van Zyl. The tracker tracked van Zyl’s tracks to the bank of the Limpopo River. He found a backpack and several large, well-fed Nile crocodiles. The 44 year old van Zyl operated a hunting safari company, SS Pro Safaris, specializing in exotic trophy kills. He marketed the company to wealthy trophy hunters. $9,000 would get you a safari to hunt seven species. His web site mentioned lions, leopards, rhinos, antelopes, buffalos, wildebeests, and zebras. It also alluded to elephants and giraffes. The company’s slogan is/was “Stop whining; Go hunting.” Nile crocodiles are a perfect killing machine. They harken back to the age of the dinosaurs with little evolution. They eat anything they can catch, hundreds of humans a year, 4 in Zimbabwe in March alone. Van Zyl forgot the maxim: “Don’t go near the water.” Zimbabwe investigators got permission to shoot the well-fed crocodiles. Van Zyl’s remains and DNA were found in the bellies of two of the crocs, a veritable croc corpus delicti. We have the making of a National Geographic or Discovery Channel Special: “Hungry Crocs Eat Hunter: The Predator Becomes the Prey.” Alas, at least three crocodiles were killed in the CSI search for van Zyl. Alas, no live coverage exists of the fabled, crocodile roll of van Zyl as they ripped his body apart. No problem; they can simulate it! The pain on van Zyl’s face as he realized he was the victim of poetic justice would have been a priceless photo, worthy of an award. The hungry crocs would be the stars of the special. Today’s graphics allow a celebratory army of antelopes, buffalo, elephants, giraffes, leopards, lions, rhinos, wildebeest, and zebras, cheering on the crocs in the demise of the trophy hunter. They could give points on the quality and style of the kill: a perfect 10 points for a quick roll with little splash.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Ann Coulter, the University of California Berkeley, and Free Speech

Ann Coulter, the University of California Berkeley, and Free Speech Ann Coulter is a lawyer and polemicist. Some will call her a provocateur. She is quite outspoken in her conservative views. She arouses strong feelings. Ann does not believe in safe spaces and trigger warnings. She accepted an invitation from the Berkeley Young Republicans and the Young American’s Foundation to deliver a speech at the University of California Berkeley on Thursday, April 27, 2017. Milos Yiannopoulous, another outspoken conservative, spoke at Berkeley last February. Riots occurred outside his speech, fueled by Antifa (Anti-fascists), a group of bullies, goons, and thugs in the greater Berkeley area. The University incurred about $100,000 in damages. Berkeley’s Mayor Jessie Arreguin apparently told the police to stand down in the Antifa riots. The results were a small version of the Baltimore riots when the police were ordered to stand down. University officials quickly cancelled Ann Coulter’s appearance for “safety reasons.” They claimed to have “legitimate concerns and credible evidence that it will jeopardize the safety of students, faculty, staff, and visitors.” They said they feared for her safety. She said she was coming anyway. They then reconsidered and said she could come on December 2 during midday at a science hall far from the central campus. December 2 is perhaps just coincidentally during “dead days” when students are studying for exams. Attendance would probably be low. Sproul Hall is usually the foci of demonstrations and protests at Berkeley. If the threat of violence from Antifa and their fellow travelers is legitimate, then it wouldn’t matter when or where she appeared. The risk exists on either November 27 or December 2, day or night. The Berkeley administrators joined others continuing to be cowed by the alt-left demonstrators and protestors. They are inherently biased against the outspoken conservatives, and hence eager to downplay the free speech rights of the conservative speakers by banning them. The muzzling of conservatives on campus is escalating as alt-left militants threaten violence. Heather MacDonald at Claremont-McKenna, Charles Murray at Middlebury, Ben Shapiro at UCLA, and the list goes on. The supine administrators make no action to bring criminal charges or disciplinary actions, including expulsion, against the academic nihilists, academic Neanderthals, and snowflakes, thereby emboldening their behavior. Berkeley, the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement, had no problem with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the vicious anti-Semitic, former President of Iran, from speaking on campus. Sadly, the only recourse may be what happened last week at Auburn. The Auburn administrators cancelled a speech by Richard Spencer, a White nationalist. He got a court order against the university, requiring them to allow his presentation. The judge said that there was no evidence that Spencer advocates violence. Ann Coulter may be strident, but she also does not advocate violence. I say sadly, but it may be the only recourse. A lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 is always a possibility against a public university. Remedies include attorneys’ fees and costs of suit. It would be best if the offending college officials were individually named as defendants, and then subject to rigorous discovery, including depositions. College officials might act differently when they realize they could be subject to personal liability. University regents and trustees will not turn a blind eye to large judgments because of violations of the free speech rights of speakers.

Judge Wendell Griffin Is a Disgrace to the Judiciary

Once upon a time, in an era not long ago, the role of judges was to enforce the law and follow the Constitution. Our democracy is based on the rule of law, and not the rule of man. Then came the Warren Court, which turned the Supreme Court into a judicial legislature. The Constitution evolved into a “living constitution,” which would be molded to fit the social views of the individual jurists. “Social justice,” as defined, interpreted, and applied by progressives will become the leitmotif for judges. Some conservative Supreme Court justices succumb to Potomac Fever and become progressively liberal. Justice Kennedy is an example. He sojourns in Salzberg, Austria during the summer He is imbued with European social justice and believes international law and foreign law should be used in interpreting our constitution. European social democracy is failing the people of Europe. The framers of the Constitution rejected much of European law in drafting the Constitution. The Constitution posited a government of limited powers. The Bill of Rights is intended to protect the rights of the people., Today, judges are no longer be appointed on their judicial expertise and impartiality, but rather on their political views. Judicial appointments became partisan appointments after Senator Kennedy Borked Judge Robert Bork. The Democrats increasingly turned to the courts to advance their political goals unachievable through the political process. Republicans responded at both the state and federal level by seeking conservative appointments to the federal courts. State judicial elections have become pitched battles with out-of-state money pouring into the races. The wishes of the President on appointments cannot always be followed. Senate confirmations under the unwritten rules of the Senate can be vetoed by either Senator of the state in which the judge is to appointed and confirmed. Take the Ninth Circuit for example. California, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii each have two very liberal Senators. Thus the Circuit judges and district court judges will be overwhelmingly liberal, whether appointed by a Democratic or Republican president. The Ninth Circuit was the most conservative when I was in law school. It has increasingly become the most liberal and likely to ignore the law and rewrite the Constitution. Judge James Robart and the three Ninth Circuit appellate judges could thereby ignore the Constitution, statutes, and precedence in tossing President Trump’s immigration ban. Judges are human. They are subject to the same emotional response as the rest of us, but are supposed to present an aura of judicial impartiality, such that the public can continue to respect the judiciary. The American people have jaundiced opinions of presidents, governors, and legislators. The judiciary should not lose the respect of the people. Judges can be activists, but most know to couch their opinions in judicial legalese. Arkansas Judge Wendell Griffin, an ordained Baptist Minister, is a prime example of a judge stepping over the line and letting his biases and prejudices blatantly show outside the courtroom for all the public to see. Capital punishment is a major social issue today. Arkansas announced it was planning to execute two death row prisoners within a few weeks. Judge Griffin issued an injunction staying the execution of eight of the defendants. He claimed it was a matter of pure property law. A supplier of one of the drugs to be used in the execution claimed the State of Arkansas was misusing the drug. He ruled, he said, purely as a property matter: “My job as a judge was to apply property law to the facts presented by the verified complaint and decide whether the medical supplier moving party was likely to succeed on its property law claim for return of vecuronium bromide.” He was most likely wrong, but that could be reversed on appeal. The problem is what he did after his decision. He went to a Good Friday anti-capital punishment demonstration and lay on a cot for 1½ hours, professing to be an executed dead man. Judge Griffin blogged: While the world meditates about divine love, forgiveness, justice, and hope, Arkansas officials plan to commit a series of homicides.” He turned his opposition to capital punishment into a political statement, which brings discredit and disrespect on the judiciary. The Alabama Supreme Court has stripped him of his power to decide capital punishment cases. Several Arkansas legislators have called for his impeachment.