Saturday, October 22, 2016

Health update

It looks like I am recovering steadily with the use of clindamycin.  Some skin areas that were red have now faded to pale pink.   The main remaining problem is that I am still spending lots of time asleep.  I am guessing that my body makes me drowsy to help fight off any sepsis.  I have always had naps during daylight hours but my naps at the moment are up to four hours long. I can't do much blogging in such circumstances but you can't keep a good blogger down completely so I have just put up one thing new:  A recipe for an unusual salad!  See here

Hopefully I will have more to say tomorrow.

Friday, October 21, 2016

NOTE:  Once again my normal posting time has come, only to find me still under the influence of both health and cable problems.  The cable problems seem by now to have been banished but too late for me to read much. There is a fair chance that I might be back in normal action by this time tomorrow.

My health problem is a post operative infection in the wound site -- most probably golden staph.  I am on 300 mg of clindamycin 6 hourly so that should help. I can control the pain with di-gesic pretty well but I have to be cautious about sepsis so my next recourse may have to be a vancomycin drip.

Either the infection or the remedies seem to be making me very drowsy so I sleep for long periods, which is probably a good thing on the whole.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The arrogance of anger

The Left are chronically angry.  There is always something in the world that is not right and must be changed IMMEDIATELY if possible. Each Leftist probably has his own little wellspring of  anger and some may be dispositionally angry: Nothing may suit him.  He is in a permanent state of upset and disquiet.  The things that Leftists usually say they are angry about --  inequality, racism etc. -- are probably just convenient hooks to hang his expressions of anger on but there always seems to be some real, genuine anger motivating him. Often it is just that  he is not getting the recognition and praise that he thinks he deserves.

And that anger explains many things about the Leftist. It explains his impetuosity for starters. "Pass a law" is his recipe for fixing everything.  Finding the source of the problem he identifies and devising solutions that might work given time are alien ideas to him. The slow build that leads to permanent structures and systems is not for him.

The anger also explains the arrogance of Leftists and their pretence to elitism. Anger never considers that it might be in the wrong.  It always feels itself to be in the right.  It has no self-doubt. If Leftists really were an intellectual elite there might be some reason to regard them as wise governors but any ability they do have is nullified by their anger and urgency to change no matter what.  And that is why Leftist policies always have unfortunate side effects.  They may confer some benefit but also do a lot of harm.

The "Affordable Care Act" (Obamacare) is a classic example of that.  For the great majority of Americans it has made health insurance LESS affordable.  It was just not well thought out because it had to be enacted URGENTLY.

And for most Leftists, no parade of facts and logic will wean him off his poorly-considered beliefs.  The habitual anger of the Leftist is hard to give up, because wanting to feel/be right is part of human nature.  From the basic physical survival drive, through to intellectual and moral issues we like to be right.

That confidence in one's own rightness is however thoroughly deplorable in the Christian tradition.  As it says in  Luke 18:

"He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt:

“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed[a] thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’

But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

I like that scripture and believe that it forms part of my personal values.  The Pharisees there are directly analogous to the modern-day Left, who think that they know it all and are confident in their own righteousness.  So it is no wonder that Leftists hate Christianity.  Christ condemned them.  Leftists much prefer the arrogant religion of Mohammed.


One way to reduce regulations? Give states the power to reject them

The current session of Congress, much like the ones that preceded it, has been filled with gridlock, recycled policy debates and little progress on the challenges facing our nation.

But on the day the House adjourned until November, a ray of hope emerged: A resolution to combat the regulatory state and revive federalism was introduced. There may be hope after all for the republic.

Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) introduced H.J. Res. 100 on Sept. 28. This simple and elegant resolution would amend the Constitution "to give States the authority to repeal a Federal rule or regulation when ratified by the legislatures of two-thirds of the several States." The states could repeal "any Presidential Executive order, rule, regulation, other regulatory action, or administrative ruling issued by a department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States."

The amendment would help redress the massive power grab by the federal government at the expense of the states that has continued nearly unabated since the administration of President Woodrow Wilson. This trend is contrary to the notions of our constitutional republic. As James Madison wrote in Federalist Number 45:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. ... The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.

This balance has been turned on its head primarily by the rise of the regulatory state and federal rule-making. This regime involves Congress handing over authority to bureaucrats to issue regulations and rules that impact nearly every area of our lives, from education and transportation, to the financial sector and the environment.

As the Competitive Enterprise Institute has explained, regulations cost our economy $1.885 trillion in 2015, and the cost of complying with regulations is higher than what the IRS will likely take in from individual and corporate taxes in 2015. About the only way citizens can impact the regulatory state is through the notice and comment period, when they can object to or support proposed regulations before they become law.

The regulatory state has spawned a bureaucratic bouillabaisse of rules: major rules, significant rules, economically significant rules, rules issued under good cause, interim final rules and direct final rules. Consequently, a body of law has developed around the regulatory state: the Administrative Procedure Act, the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and the Congressional Review Act. Some of these laws have attempted to gain control of the leviathan that the regulatory state was destined to become.

But the flood of regulations continues.

Enter Bishop's resolution. H.J. Res. 100 would give state legislatures —legislative institutions that are very close to the people — the ability to repeal regulations that, in their view, are harmful or burdensome. Citizens of states will be able to lobby their state representatives more easily than lobbying Congress. That will in turn allow states to claw back their powers by undoing regulatory actions that undermine their authority and the economy.

When Washington gets too big and bullies the states, the constitutional amendment proposed by H.J.Res. 100 would be a resource the states can utilize to check a federal government that is more zealous about promoting the regulatory state, executive orders and administrative rulings, than the guarantee of the 10th Amendment.

A recent article in The Washington Post highlighted a study by Jennifer Bachner and Benjamin Ginsberg about bureaucrats in Washington. The article explained that:        

For their part, the bureaucrats are aware that they're not average Americans. In fact, respondents to the survey tended to overestimate the distance between their own opinions and those of the general public. More often than not, they misjudged how the public felt about federal spending on various programs, such as education or social security or defense.

Bachner and Ginsberg call this phenomenon the fallacy of "false uniqueness." They interpret it as a sign that many public servants have internalized a sense of superiority. Perhaps, as they write, "officials and policy community members simply cannot imagine that average citizens would have the information or intellectual capacity needed to see the world as it is seen from the exalted heights of official Washington."

These bureaucrats and their views are the inevitable outcome of a federal government that prioritizes bureaucratic fiefdoms at the expense of states and makes rolling back regulations about as onerous as possible. H.J. Res. 100 would redress the grievances of citizens who know that their federal government has assumed a degree of control over the states that is forbidden by the Constitution.

Amending the Constitution should be done deliberately, thoughtfully, and for the most important of reasons. H.J.Res. 100 satisfies these requirements and then some. Its debate and passage by Congress and two-thirds of the states will go a long way to help restore the balance between the people and those who govern on their behalf.



APOLOGY: I have undergone surgery and experienced a prolonged cable service outage within the last 24 hours so I am putting up less than I usually would -- JR


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Democratic party has abandoned the working class

If it ever really stood for them

DRY FORK, W. Va. THIS ROCK-HARD, remote mountain redoubt, where generations of the brawny and the brave stripped the forests for timber and traveled deep into mines for coal, used to constitute an impregnable Democratic fortress. For 14 of the 17 elections since Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed his New Deal, Democrats won easy victories in presidential elections in this state.

But with the new century, a new political reality has unfolded here, perhaps best viewed as a tale of two governors from faraway Massachusetts.

Michael S. Dukakis, the Democrats’ 1988 presidential nominee, won the state by 5 percentage points. Mitt Romney — the Republicans’ presidential nominee 24 years later and a figure with no plausible personal or cultural affinity with voters here — won all 55 counties in the state in the last election, taking West Virginia’s five electoral votes by a landslide 27 percentage points.

Yet the GOP has swept the state the past four presidential elections, and Hillary Clinton’s prospects are so dim that she probably won’t bother to campaign here. Even as Donald Trump’s national poll numbers cratered after a disastrous first debate and the leak of an explosive video, the Republican nominee’s grip on West Virginia appeared firm.

"I never worried about West Virginia," said Dukakis. "It is working-class America, but now we’ve just kind of basically said: Well, it’s a red state."

American political parties are always in transition. This year, Trump has revealed deep cracks in the traditional Republican coalition and gone to war with party leaders. Yet while the Democrats are more united behind their 2016 nominee, they’re arguably more divided over their party’s vision and future. And if Trump self-destructs and delivers the White House to them, Democrats should contain their glee, because their victory will have only delayed their day of reckoning.

The Democratic Party’s core identity, far predating its embrace of various civil rights movements, is as the defender of rank-and-file workers. Yet today’s Democrats are caught in a political scissors: the emergence of a new professional class that is progressive on social issues but, according to Michael Haselswerdt, a political scientist at Canisius College in Buffalo, “Their progressivism is moving them away from working-class voters, and the weakness of the labor movement is only accelerating that."

For politicians and campaign operatives who for a generation or more have been working for the Democrats — or against them — the party’s growing dependence on the prosperous and well-educated is disorienting.

"This is a very different Democratic Party than the one we ran against in the 1980s," said Sig Rogich, the Las Vegas publicist who created advertisements both for George H.W. Bush and for Ronald Reagan, including the iconic "Morning in America" spot.

Are the Democrats the party of working people anymore or is their future with college-educated professionals? Can a party whose 2016 nominee raised money at fund-raisers for the wealthy this summer at the rate of $150,000 an hour lay claim to being the protector of labor and its dwindling union workforce? Can the Democrats marry their identity as the party of government with the "outsider" profile that voters seem to embrace with such fervor? Does a party that draws its strength from the richest and the poorest places in America have any logical rationale? Is a party of working women, minorities, and university liberals poised for a bright future — or an electoral disaster?

These questions, and more, bedevil a party that is completing two terms in the White House but that is in the minority in both houses on Capitol Hill, holds barely a third of the nation’s governor’s chairs, and can’t seem to get its less upscale, or its younger, voters to turn out for nonpresidential elections. Hence this question, perhaps the most devastating one of all: Have the Democrats replaced the Republicans as the party of the social, cultural, and economic elite?

"I’ve been in groups of workers, who used to be so closely aligned with the Democrats, where I’m more welcome than a Democrat would be," said Senator Rob Portman, a Republican running for reelection in the swing state of Ohio. "The Democrats have become a little more elitist, less in touch with the life experiences of middle-class Americans, and more attuned to the college-educated, urban-dwelling segment."

Portman is hardly impartial. But is he wrong?

NOT SINCE THE party’s serial White House losses in the 1980s have the Democrats been engaged in such a searing, searching examination of their prospects and identity. For followers of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, it’s obvious which way the party should go. "It is very clear that not only is the Democratic Party moving in a more progressive position, the American people are," Sanders said in an interview. His insurgent candidacy bedeviled Clinton all winter and spring, nudging the eventual nominee to the left. "Simply having a megaphone — talking to almost a million and a half people — gave the public a different perspective," Sanders added, "and they said, ‘I think this guy is right.’ Political leaders started listening."

He has a point. Now hardly any mainstream politicians besides President Obama are outspoken proponents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership that had the strong support of, among many others, Clinton herself. A year ago, Democrats were talking about raising the federal minimum wage, currently $7.25 an hour, to $10.10 an hour; now the conversation almost invariably speaks of a minimum wage of $15 an hour.

"More and more politicians — Democrats and some Republicans — are realizing that we cannot sustain the income and wealth gap," Sanders said in the interview. "I think our campaign had an impact on the country."

The debate about the future of the party has been kept out of public view as party leaders rallied around Hillary Clinton to fight off the Sanders rebellion and has been dampened down by the urgency of defeating Trump. But it is simmering below the surface and surely will emerge into public view, when the party confronts how progressive a freshly elected administration Clinton is assembling might be — or when the party asks how it can recover from a defeat at the hands of a force like Trump.

Many Democrats — not only the legions who rallied behind the Sanders banner but others as well — believe their heritage as sentinels of workers’ interests is at risk.

"I thought we could pull the party back into the model that was the basis of the party since Andrew Jackson: You take care of working people," said former senator Jim Webb of Virginia, who ran a brief presidential campaign earlier this year. "But it’s gone the other way. White working people outside of unions think the Democratic Party doesn’t like them."

If some Democrats look back longingly to Jackson, or at least to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, others point out how Bill Clinton modernized the party in 1992 by tugging it to the center and redeeming its hopes after losing five of the six elections between 1968 and 1988.

Will Marshall, president and founder of the Progressive Policy Institute, which was created in the wake of the Dukakis defeat, points to how much stronger right-wing populism is than left-wing populism — the Tea Party versus, say, Occupy. He believes the party’s emphasis should be on college-educated suburban moderates. "The swing voters who hold the balance of power in key battleground states aren’t particularly angry and don’t see the economy as rigged against them," he said. "They give priority to growth over fairness and are more inclined to help US businesses succeed than to punish them."

In this version of the story, moving beyond traditional constituencies such as organized labor freed the Democrats from impulses that kept them from sculpting a modern liberalism. As a result, according to this thinking, they have relinquished the support of generations-old Democratic families in pursuit of support from college-educated suburban whites, as well as racial and ethnic minorities — growing demographic groups that, polls show, are relatively confident that the future will be brighter.

By this logic, the party is on the precipice of a promising new start, liberated from its past and poised to prevail in large measure because it lost the struggle to retain places like West Virginia.

"For years, we were in the fight for the guy in the truck with a gun rack," said James Carville, the veteran Democratic strategist. "We lost those guys, by a rate of 80 to 20. Dukakis carried them, Hillary won’t. The best thing that happened to us is that we lost that war."

YET WITHIN THE party, there’s considerable resistance to this view. It is inconceivable that, say, after Lyndon B. Johnson’s reelection in 1964 a high-profile group of Democrats would make demands and assemble lists of acceptable administration appointees such as the one Senator Elizabeth Warren and her allies developed late last month. In remarks at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the Massachusetts Democrat belittled the customary Washington appointees who speak of progressive policies "coupled with a sigh, a knowing glance, and the twiddling of thumbs until it’s time for the next swing through the revolving door, serving government and then going back to the very same industries they regulate."

The Warren viewpoint — plus her twin convictions that federal regulators should aggressively protect consumers and that Washington’s ties with Wall Street are too close — were among the main currents that ran through the Bernie Sanders campaign, and they have special appeal to the younger voters who, early this autumn, the Clinton camp determined were essential if she is to win the White House.

That conclusion spawned a remarkable recent offensive, including a candidate op-ed, the mobilization of surrogates such as Sanders himself, and an appearance at a climate-change event with former vice president Al Gore Tuesday, all aimed at younger voters, a demographic group that doesn’t customarily vote as often as its elders — and that has shown a persistent reluctance to see Clinton as an ally or even as an appealing choice. According to transcripts released this month by WikiLeaks, Clinton praised global trade at events sponsored by Wall Street institutions. Those comments seem unremarkable to a well-heeled Democratic donor class. But for the young progressives on whom the party depends to knock on doors every other November, they’re a betrayal.

"Bernie’s candidacy demonstrated that the energy in the Democratic Party is around a very progressive agenda," argues Tad Devine, who spent a lifetime in conventional Democratic politics before leading the Sanders campaign. "The party right now is powered in large part by young people, minorities, and women, particularly single women. These people want a very progressive set of policies."

Even the most establishment-oriented Democrats agree. "Now we have a more ‘left’ Democratic Party — more diverse, watching government in action after so much inaction," said William Daley, son and brother of important Chicago mayors and the former campaign manager for the Al Gore.

That is precisely the Democratic Party that regular Republicans see as their emerging opponents, though the contours and the inclinations of the post-Trump GOP are impossible to predict, except to say that they will be different if Trump wins.

"Today’s Democrats don’t want change around the edges," said Frank I. Luntz, a top GOP strategist who is sitting out this year’s election. "They’re much closer to the democratic socialists of Europe. Bernie Sanders is to the left of [former British prime minister] Tony Blair. He may have lost the election, but he won the platform, and you now hear much more about higher taxes and free stuff and more regulation."

Part of the Democrats’ problem is its identification with Washington activism in an era when Washington is in disrepute. "The degraded political culture we have hasn’t helped the Democrats," said Ira Shapiro, author of the 2012 book "The Last Great Senate," which celebrates the achievements of the last generation of Senate lawmakers, many of them prominent Democrats. "But it is especially difficult for Democrats because they believe in government."

The Democrats are at odds with liberals who think they have watered down their commitment to progressive policies and drifted out of touch with their traditional constituencies. At the same time, they are at odds with conservatives who regard them as so liberal — and, inevitably, so beguiled by what they deride as "politically correct" views — that they are out of touch with mainstream Americans.

Listen to Patrick J. Buchanan, an aide to both Nixon and Reagan and a two-time presidential candidate: "The McGovernization of the party that began in 1968 — that social, cultural viewpoint — became rooted deeply into the Democratic Party. Clinton brought it back to the center in 1992, but the center of gravity in the party now has moved to the left."

Now listen to Todd Gitlin, a former Students for a Democratic Society president who now is a Columbia University sociologist: "If the Democratic Party in [my student days] had the profile it has today I would have looked askance at it. I would have thought that it was not a bridge to the future. The Trump people have a right to say they have been betrayed. Nobody has given a [expletive] about them in the Democratic Party."

Either way, today’s Democrats have changed perhaps as much or more than the Republicans since the 1970s. "The party has been taken over by professionals," said Gitlin. "The startling thing is that the Democrats are hardly competing for the people that Trump is claiming."

Even with all these tensions swirling around the party, hardly anyone thinks the Democrats are on the verge of political oblivion, in part because the Republicans are in upheaval as well — and may have made a dangerous demographic bet.

Writing in the journal of the American Academy of Political and Social Science this fall, the political scientists Gary C. Jacobson of the University of California San Diego, argued that among younger Americans the Democrats have a distinct edge.

"Not many people in a generation that is ethnically diverse and comfortable with diversity, worried about a warming planet, supportive of same-sex marriage and LGBT rights, sympathetic to undocumented immigrants, and historically low in religious affiliation are likely to see themselves fitting into the current Republican coalition," he wrote.

Yet even the possibility that an army of smartphone-wielding millennials will come to the Democrats’ rescue doesn’t sit well with some longtime party leaders. Two former presidential nominees worry that their party has come unmoored from its past — and are deeply troubled that Trump has claimed some of the Democrats’ natural constituents.

"We have badly neglected the work we should have been doing for blue-collar working folks, especially men," said Dukakis, who now teaches at Northeastern University. "There’s no excuse for that. These are our people. They have no business voting Republican. But you have got to take care of people and pay attention to them."

Former vice president Walter Mondale, who lost in a landslide to Reagan in 1984, agrees, and he blames the Democrats’ problems in part on the party’s infatuation with metrics and with Internet communication.

"We had an established community of Democrats, volunteers activists," Mondale said of the Democrats of the mid to late 20th century. "We communicated with each other by phone, by mail, and by meeting. We kept lists, and we organized that way. Increasingly people live their public and political lives on their devices. That’s how they do their politics. People in politics don’t have the personal contacts they once had, and that has created a gap between Democrats and the people we got into politics to serve."

Overall the emergence of a new generation of voters, new technology, and new media has transformed the political landscape, making it unrecognizable to established politicians and rendering it confusing if not alienating to millennials.

"The polarization, the lack of engagement with people with views other than yours, the crudity in politics today — all that has changed our politics," said David Demarest, who was the communications director in the George H.W. Bush White House. "And that has affected the Democrats and Republicans alike. It has cost the Republicans who still value civility, and on the Democratic side it has detracted from serious conversations they care about. All of our politics seems to be in transition."

The civil war within Trump’s Republican Party is, to be sure, getting most of the attention. But as upscale professionals and working-class voters vie for influence within each of two evenly matched parties, there’s plenty of identity crisis to go around.


There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- mainly about the correlates of ring finger length


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

So who are the Nazis here?

This is very reminiscent of the actions of Hitler's brownshirts in the 1930s.  Strange that no Democrat premises have been attacked!

A Republican party headquarters in North Carolina was firebombed and an adjacent building was vandalized with the words: 'Nazi Republicans leave town or else.'

One state GOP official called the attack in Hillsborough, Orange County an act of 'political terrorism', the Charlotte Observer reported.

A bottle, filled with flammable substance, was thrown into a window during the night, setting off a fire that scorched the interior of the building before the blaze burned itself out, police said.

Photos from the interior showed damaged yard signs bearing the names of Donald Trump and Mike Pence, along with other politicians.

With three weeks left until election day, Mayor Tom Stevens acknowledged the significance of the attack, saying: 'This highly disturbing act goes far beyond vandalizing property.

'It willfully threatens our community’s safety, and its hateful message undermines decency, respect and integrity in civic participation.'

The GOP headquarters is located in the strip mall Shops at Daniel Boone, with the graffiti left outside Balloons Above Orange a few doors down.

The owner of the balloon shop, Bennie Sparrow, was on her way to church this morning when she saw the 'hateful' message scrawled along the side of her business.

While she has 'no idea' who could be behind the attack, she believes her shop was targeted because it is a 'good billboard to aim towards the Republicans'.

She told the 'I'm not afraid to go into work tomorrow but I don't feel quite as secure as I did before. This is the world we live in.'

Police have not been able to estimate the total value of the damages, but executive director of the state's GOP, Dallas Woodhouse, said the office was 'a total loss'.

Woodhouse later issued a statement that said: 'Whether you are Republican, Democrat or Independent, all Americans should be outraged by this hate-filled and violent attack against our democracy.

'Whether the bomb was meant to kill, destroy property or intimidate voters, everyone in this country should be free to express their political viewpoints without fear for their own safety.

'We will be requesting additional security at all Republican Party offices and events between now and Election Day to ensure the safety of our activists, volunteers, and supporters.'

The state's Democratic Party Chair Patsy Keever said: 'I’m appalled that this would happen, certainly we don’t need violence for any reason.

'Clearly this is outrageous that anybody would do this kind of destruction to either party’s buildings or people.'

North Carolina is considered a swing state with polls leaning towards Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Orange County, which includes the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, is overwhelmingly left-leaning.

A police investigation with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is ongoing.



WikiLeaks Exposes Workings of an American 'Nomenklatura'

The nomenklatura (literally "name list") was one of the indispensable components of the former Soviet Union.  It was indeed a literal list of those—almost always devout Communist Party loyalists—who would receive the favors of the state while the proletariat, those supposed "dictators" of the new paradise, lived in squalor and waited in bread lines.

This list was so meticulously kept Stalin was known as "Comrade Filing Cabinet." You were either on it or off.  And those who fell off, for whatever causes, real or imagined, were usually headed for the Gulag. The nomenklatura kept everyone in line.

In my book—I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn't Already—I devote a chapter to the rise of a far more subtle and less overtly totalitarian American nomenklatura, one that may be more effective and enduring in the long run (and thus ultimately more threatening to democracy).

WikiLeaks, in its downloads of the "PodestaEmails," in essence confirms the existence of this American list – who is on and who is off—and reveals its workings in remarkable detail.  More downloads are on the way. But what we have already has gone a long way to demonstrating how the people of this country have been lied to and deceived for the preservation of this nomenklatura and its power. We owe Julian Assange and his cohorts a debt.

Most evident from their downloads is the unremitting, almost incestual, alliance between elites (read: Democratic Party leadership) and the press, those who are informing us of what we are supposed to think.  The myriad emails between New York Times reporter and CNBC anchor John Harwood and Clinton campaign manager John Podesta would approach the risible were they not so disturbing by implication. Presidential debate moderator Harwood, putatively a journalist, actually acts as an advisor to Podesta in them, warning the campaign manager of the dangers of a potential Ben Carson candidacy and even bragging to him about having tripped up Donald Trump at a debate.

But the presidential debate moderator is far from alone in his fealty to the ways and means of the nomenklatura. The New York Times and the Boston Globe—the emails show, as if we hadn't guessed already—colluded with the Clinton campaign.

But the level of collusion goes much deeper than press and politicians. The Department of Justice itself—the emails also reveal—was in private communication with the Clinton people during the investigation of the Hillary Clinton homebrew server, warning her campaign in advance of a State Department release of emails. Everybody was colluding!

Is anyone surprised at this, at best, legally dubious activity? Probably not at this point. But this underscores the fearlessness of the nomenklatura in transgressing the law in defense of their policy goals and positions.  Certain of their own rectitude, they can do no wrong, even if it is wrong.

They are able to do this through a profound moral narcissism that convinces them that they, not the American people, "know best." It's a home-grown version of "the ends justify the means," making the American nomenklatura an inherently totalitarian movement, although more subtle, as I note above, in its actions.

The rise of Donald Trump is in great measure a reaction to the pervasive power of this nomenklatura. But Trump, with his all-too-apparent personality flaws and shallow political knowledge, has not been, thus far, a successful opponent of these elites.  Still, he has demonstrated courage not common in political candidates and opened a door that is unlikely to close easily.  It remains for future leaders, perhaps emerging from the people themselves, to overcome this nomenklatura and help us retain or reclaim our democratic republic.



Obama, Media Go Quiet on Historic Mideast Catastrophe

While the press was focused on the Hillary-Trump debate, Iranian-backed rebels fired two missiles at the USS Mason off Yemen. The Associated Press describes the incident:

The Navy says the missile launch Sunday night landed in the water before getting near the USS Mason.

Lt. Ian McConnaughey, a Navy spokesman, said Monday it's unclear if the Mason was specifically targeted, though the missiles were fired in its direction.

The missile launches comes after an Emirati ship was targeted several days ago by missiles apparently fired by Shiite rebels in Yemen known as Houthis and their allies.

The unsuccessful strike on the Mason follows the destruction of the HSV-2 Swift, a logistics vessel operated by the UAE capable of 45 knots, by two anti-ship missiles -- probably the C-801 or C-802. The USS Mason was part of a three-ship flotilla dispatched to the area after the Swift had been gutted:

The U.S. Navy has dispatched to the strait two destroyers, the USS Mason and USS Nitze, and the USS Ponce -- the last of these a floating staging ship which includes a complement of special operations forces.

“Sending the warships to the area is a message that the primary goal of the Navy is to ensure that shipping continues unimpeded in the strait and the vicinity,” said a U.S. defense official.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which is in charge of Tehran’s extraterritorial military activities, is believed to be arming the Houthis with missiles and rockets, including a variant of the Zelzal-3 artillery rocket that was unveiled in August and stationed near the Saudi border.

The war in Yemen has been steadily escalating in the shadow of headline-grabbing events in Aleppo and Mosul. Recently a Saudi air strike which killed 140 people and wounded as many as 350 more briefly seized the spotlight:

In one of the deadliest attacks of the country’s civil war, which Saudi Arabia entered in March 2015, airstrikes on Saturday hit a funeral hall packed with thousands of mourners in Yemen’s rebel-held capital, Sana’a.

The outcry forced the Obama administration to publicly distance itself from Riyadh:

The US, like the UK, supplies arms to Saudi Arabia and practical military advice, even though the precise extent of that advice is disputed.

White House national security council spokesman Ned Simon said: “We are deeply disturbed by reports of [the] airstrike on a funeral hall in Yemen, which, if confirmed, would continue the troubling series of attacks striking Yemeni civilians. US security cooperation with Saudi Arabia is not a blank cheque."

It is one of several scenes of an entire drama, almost a parallel universe which exists outside the 2016 spectacle which has captured the American public's imagination. Events epochal to those whom they directly concern and important by any objective standard are foreshortened by false perspective into tiny insignificant occurrences happening long ago and far away.

The striking thing is how this administration is bequeathing a comprehensive catastrophe to the next president almost without anyone, least of all the semi-retired chief executive, paying more than cursory attention.

Even most of the provocative saber-rattling from Moscow barely makes it above the fold. Only yesterday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Washington of aggression without raising so much as a ripple on Twitter.

How did an administration which came to office headed by a Child of the World promising to "build bridges" with other cultures, that styled itself as brimming with "smart" foreign policy experts, finish up in an almost comical state of parochialism?

Why, rather than bestriding the globe, has it withdrawn in outlook, buttoned up like a tank, viewing the outside world only through the narrowest of slits, driving in little circles from talk show to talk show?

In his final months, President Obama's world has become paradoxically both very large yet very small: large in terms of real-world risk exposure, but small in alternatives politically open to it.

Max Fisher tries to explain the shrinkage in scope and loss of prestige in a New York Times think piece by ascribing American bewilderment to such grand historical causes as the loss of faith in its own exceptionalism arising from the trauma of George Bush's campaign in Iraq. But this smacks of self-exculpation.

The simplest explanation for the huddled final days of the administration? They have been burned, and they want no more of that unpleasant experience.

The "smartest people" on the planet found they were not quite as clever as they thought.

They should not have been surprised. Over the last decade presidential hopefuls have come from the ranks of thinkers without much experience in governance or the wider world. They knew all the answers -- in theory -- but none in practice. Individuals who spent all their adult lives learning how to raise money, craft talking points, perfect stances before the camera, fund opposition research, and recruit surrogates found that special skills did not travel so well in the wider world.

The election of 2016, by coming down to an actual choice between two candidates who no one particularly seems to want, has emphasized the unnatural limits from which political leadership is drawn. The system is not nearly so diverse as Bill Buckley's sample of "first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory" -- it is much more cramped, artificial, and parochial. The idea that a nation with a third of billion people could only come up with these two people to lead it is almost absurd.

Far from being cursed with the burden of exceptionalism, America is really weighed down by mediocrity and a lack of flexibility. It is trapped in the world because it is trapped in Washington. If there is one metaphor which might describe the commotion of 2016, it is that we are watching an attempted jailbreak.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Monday, October 17, 2016

Why Republicans have lost so often

Republicans wrote the book on losing. Democrats wrote the book on playing for keeps

Scot Faulkner

Republicans always seem to fight the wrong battle, the wrong way, at the wrong time. Republicans inevitably break ranks at the first sign of trouble. Republicans shoot their wounded, even if the injury is just a cut or sprain.

Democrats never break ranks. Democrats lock arms and deny, dismiss, defy and defend, no matter what. Democrats will always rescue one of their own – no matter the odds, or how gravely wounded, or how despicable or criminal the offense.

The “hot mic” tape of Donald Trump’s boorish “locker room” talk now dominates the 2016 Presidential Campaign, stealing attention away from critically important issues. It’s a safe bet the Democrats, and their media allies, have a stockpile of embarrassing Trump material ready to roll out in the coming weeks.

Trump and his supporters are confronting asymmetrical warfare. His offensive words are considered more damning than any of Hillary Clinton’s actual actions, misdeeds and derelictions of duty.

But then the Democrats have always played dirty. In 1980, Speaker Tip O’Neil withheld a Washington, DC police report on conservative Congressman Bob Bauman’s sexuality for eighteen months, in order to release it five weeks before Election Day. Its timing was designed for maximum damage with minimum recovery time, since Republican voters were more likely to punish immorality.

Democrats want to win at all costs. Democrats want to gain, maintain, and above all expand their power.  Democrats never waiver from these goals. Democrat spokespeople coordinate their talking points and stay on message. They tackle anyone who tries to lift the curtain on truth. They destroy anyone who challenges the liberal Democrat hold on government.

Perhaps the most infamous and extreme example from the Democrat “win at all costs” playbook is covering up Ted Kennedy’s misdeeds. On July 18, 1969, Senator Ted Kennedy killed 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne in a tragic car accident on Chappaquiddick Island near Martha’s Vineyard.

Liberals in politics and media suppressed the incident by ignoring Kennedy’s multiple lies and inconsistencies. Kennedy went on being a liberal icon. The media continued to dismiss and minimize Kopechne’s death, and Kennedy’s countless sexual affairs.

Then, earlier this year, in the propaganda film about Clarence Thomas’ confirmation, Hollywood portrayed Kennedy as a defender of abused women.

The other side of the Democrats’ playbook is character assassination of Republicans. In 2012, they and the media portrayed Mitt Romney as a callous, clueless elitist. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) actually bragged that he had blatantly lied when he accused Romney of not paying taxes, boasting “It worked, didn’t it? Romney lost!”  Honesty, decency and facts never get in the way of a good Democrat attack.

Over the past few months, Democrats have never talked about the substance of leaks that were so damaging to Hillary Clinton. In lock-step, Democrats immediately attacked the veracity of the leaked material, while the Obama Administration blamed the leaks’ source on Russia. By the time the truth of the leaked statements was demonstrated, the media had moved onto to other things.

In 2012, “bin Laden is dead and Detroit is alive” was the mantra that defied the facts. The Benghazi attack was drowned out with the bogus claim that “a video caused a spontaneous protest at the embassy.” Debate “moderator” Candy Crowley did her duty and maintained the lie, by throwing a body block against Mitt Romney in the second Presidential Debate – when she claimed that President Obama had said it was a “terrorist attack,” when he had said no such thing.

“In 2016, America is safer and more prosperous than ever” is another phony Democrat mantra. Every terrorist attack on American soil is stifled or obscured with bogus alternative motives and explanations. Economic reports are “cooked” or spun. Nothing must stand in the way of Obama’s Third Term.

Some Republicans, and many in the conservative media, do their best to counter the Democrat onslaught.  However, they are constantly crippled by numerous Republicans who turn tail and run when the first shots are fired in anger.

During Bill Clinton’s Presidency, Republicans bungled their investigation of Chinese campaign donations to Clinton in exchange for trade concessions and ownership of part of the Port of Los Angeles. That was treason by the Clintons and gross incompetence by the Republicans.

Instead of focusing on this, though, Republicans impeached Clinton on sexual issues and his countless lies. And even then, despite overwhelming evidence, five Republicans voted “not guilty” on perjury and ten voted “not guilty” on obstruction of justice.

Republicans further bungled impeachment by self-immolating over their own sexual affairs, including the resignation of Congressman Bob Livingston on the cusp of his becoming Speaker. Republicans had hoped to shame Clinton into resigning or at least confessing. They forgot that Democrats have no shame; and if they didn’t have double standards, they’d have no standards.

Simply put, too many Republicans are more focused on remaining part of the Washington Establishment, than on cleaning up the festering cesspool. But the 2016 stakes are enormous.

A Clinton Presidency means, for at least a generation, the Supreme Court will be turned over to activist liberal justices who will vivisect the Constitution in the name of reshaping society. It means open borders and open immigration, overwhelming America’s culture with Islamic fundamentalism and welfare for Third World refugees.

A Clinton Presidency means expansion of government spending and regulatory control beyond even Obama’s wildest dreams. If Republicans stand accused of wanting to control what Americans do in the privacy of their bedrooms, Democrats are clearly intent on imposing centralized control over everything Americans do outside their bedrooms.

A Clinton Presidency also means continued disarray in American foreign policy and continued decline in America’s ability to defend itself and its allies. A Clinton Presidency means increasingly bolder confrontations of the West by Radical Islamists, Iran, Russia and China.

A Trump loss will tear the Republican Party apart. Establishment and Faith-based factions will annihilate each other with “I told you so” arguments for Bush or Cruz or Rubio.

Democrats will laugh as they prepare a Texas Castro brother (Julian or Joaquin) to take the presidency in 2024, using the slogan “Time for a Hispanic!” from the same playbook that employed “Time for an African American!” and “Time for a woman!”

It is only a few precious weeks before Americans choose their path. Is there enough time for Republicans to wake-up?



Clinton staffer caught on camera: I could grab co-worker’s a** and not get fired

Surely by now you’ve heard the indefensible, lewd comments Donald Trump made about actress Arianne Zucker and former “Access Hollywood” co-host Nancy O’Dell back in 2005. The mainstream media is currently crucifying him for it, while hypocritically ignoring Bill Clinton’s past transgressions.

Enter Project Veritas. Clinton staffer Wylie Mao was caught on undercover camera criticizing the campaign’s low bar of conduct, proclaiming that he’d have to grab his co-worker’s ass twice before getting fired:

“I think that the bar of acceptable conduct on this campaign is pretty, pretty, low,” he said. He then turned to a group of women sitting at his table saying, “In order for me to be fired I’d probably have to grab Emma’s ass like twice…”

A journalist for O’Keefe’s group is then seen confronting Wylie outside of a Hillary office.

“I’d just like to ask you a little bit about the sexual conduct going on with the Hillary campaign. Is the bar pretty low?” asked the Project Veritas reporter.

“Sorry guys, can you go inside? Wylie, can you go inside?” said a Hillary campaign staffer.

“Did you say you’d have to grab Emma’s ass twice to get reprimanded?” asked the Project Veritas reporter one last time before Wylie headed inside a Clinton field office without saying anything.

Apparently Democrats joke about casual sexual assault too. They just don’t get lambasted for it.

Mao and another Clinton staffer named Trevor Lafauci also boasted how they could get away with tearing up Republican voter registration forms.

The hypocrisy of this election — and American politics in general — is truly astounding.



Hillary Clinton: ‘My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders’

“My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.”

That was Hillary Clinton in a paid speech to Brazil-based Banco Itau in 2013, now released by WikiLeaks, saying that her dream is the entire Western hemisphere without borders, open trade and a single economy.

In other words, let them eat NAFTA. She really is Marie Clintonette. Clinton’s dream is a de facto end to American sovereignty, where capital continues to flow overseas while hundreds of millions of people who want to move to America would be given a free pass. It is an unbelievable statement from somebody who at that point knew she would be running for president in 2016. A statement, not of U.S. interests, but global interests.

In this speech, Clinton revealed what she really thinks about the critical issue increasing U.S. participation in trade deals once she’s talking with the corporate interests involved: “I think we have to have a concerted plan to increase trade already under the current circumstances… There is so much more we can do, there is a lot of low hanging fruit but businesses on both sides have to make it a priority and it’s not for governments to do but governments can either make it easy or make it hard and we have to resist, protectionism, other kinds of barriers to market access and to trade and I would like to see this get much more attention and be not just a policy for a year under president X or president Y but a consistent one.”

Got that, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan? Clinton doesn’t think the U.S. has outsourced enough industrial production, jobs and wealth to foreign economies. She wants to double down on trade, end borders and finish off what’s left of the U.S. economy.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Comparison of 1980 and 2016: Carter-Reagan versus Clinton-Trump

A CBS News poll from mid-September found that 55 percent of Americans want “big changes,” while 43 percent want “some changes”; just two percent think things are fine the way they are. We need hardly add the  observation: If 98 percent of the voters are favoring “change,” it will be hard for this not to be a “change” election.

Then the CBS poll asked: Which candidate can be trusted to change Washington? The answer: 47 percent trust Trump to do it, 20 percent trust Clinton to do it.  In other words, Trump owns the “change” issue by a whopping 27-point margin. In a “change” year, that’s the stuff of landslides—as was 1980.

So today, when I see the polls showing Trump behind, I just smile: If the voters mean it when they say that they want change, well, then, they will get change—whether or not the pollsters can see it coming.

Meanwhile, the larger context of the times back then argued strongly for change—drastic change. At home, we were suffering from severe inflation and rising unemployment. At the same time, abroad, the Carter administration suffered the daily indignity of the Iranian hostage crisis.  And elsewhere, Carter haplessly confronted the strategic challenges of the Soviet-aided communist victory in Nicaragua and the Russians’ outright invasion of Afghanistan.

So it was little wonder that, according to a Gallup poll, satisfaction with the condition of the country hit a rock-bottom 12 percent in the summer of 1979, and it stayed down in the teens all through 1980.

Yet for all that dissatisfaction, for almost the whole of 1980, it was no certainty that the voters would choose Reagan over Carter. After all, much like Trump today, Reagan was loathed by the media, and that depressed his numbers—or so we thought.

The Media vs. Republicans: The Song Remains the Same

Moreover, back then, there was no alternative media, and so what we now think of as the Main Stream Media was just…the media. You know, as in the broadcast networks, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. These outlets might not seem that important today—it’s perfectly possible to get all the news one wants without ever visiting a legacy site, and the LA Times is one of many newspapers to have gone through bankruptcy—and yet in those days, the longstanding media outlets were seemingly all-powerful.

So on every morning at Reagan campaign HQ, top people had already read a hard-copy version of The New York Times or The Washington Post; a little later, the same people would receive the clips—a thick batch of photocopies of news articles mailed or faxed from around the country. And at 6:30 pm, and again at 7 pm, everything would stop, because we all had to see how the campaign was playing on the nightly newscasts, which in those days were watched by most of the country.

Of course, we usually gritted our teeth as we watched, because the TV reporters, like the print reporters, despised Reagan; almost all of them regarded him as a crazy, maybe even senile, cowboy who would get us not only into a depression, but also into World War Three. (Carter, in their mind, was a well-intentioned failure; that was hardly a ringing endorsement, to be sure, but in the journalistic mind, Carter’s weakness paled compared to Reagan’s menace.)

So with Reagan being savaged every morning and every evening, it wasn’t surprising that our polling was dismal.  A Gallup Poll from early January, for example, showed Carter leading Reagan by a nearly two-to-one margin, 62 percent to 33 percent.

That was the paradox: The American people knew that things were going badly, but the media kept insisting that there was no alternative other than to vote for Carter.

Four More Years?  Really??

Meanwhile, back in 1980, the big issue was the condition of the country. On July 17, in his acceptance speech to the Republican national convention in Detroit, Reagan finally had his opportunity to speak to the bulk of the American electorate, unfiltered by the media. And in the course of making his overall case for change, he deftly jabbed at Carter:

    Can anyone look at the record of this administration and say, “Well done?” Can anyone compare the state of our economy when the Carter Administration took office with where we are today and say, “Keep up the good work?” Can anyone look at our reduced standing in the world today and say, “Let’s have four more years of this?”

Thus with the whole country watching, Reagan framed the key issue: Carter equaled “more of the same”; Reagan equaled “change.”

For his part, Carter had no new ideas for the future; he was truly the more-of-the-same candidate.  In addition, he didn’t have much of a record to run on, and he knew that, too.  So his plan, instead, was to demolish Reagan—just as Hillary today is attempting to demolish Trump.  In his August 14, 1980 acceptance speech to the Democratic national convention in New York, Carter ripped into his challenger and all Republicans:

    In their fantasy America, all problems have simple solutions—simple and wrong.  It’s a make-believe world, a world of good guys and bad guys, where some politicians shoot first and ask questions later.  No hard choices, no sacrifice, no tough decisions—it sounds too good to be true, and it is.

For a while, this strategy of ripping up Reagan appeared to be working. Gallup records that in early August, Carter was ahead of Reagan by sixteen points, 45:29. For purposes of comparison, we can note that on August 9 of this year, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average, Clinton was ten points ahead of Trump.

Yet back in 1980, for all the reasons noted, the country wanted change. And so by mid-August, Reagan had pulled to within a single point of Carter, and the two candidates stayed neck-and-neck all through September.

So if we might skip ahead 36 years, that’s almost exactly where we are today: According to the RealClearPolitics average, as of October 10, Clinton is 4.5 points ahead of Trump in the four-way race. So we might recall: Clinton is almost exactly where Carter was at this time, 36 years ago.

The last Gallup poll of the 1980 campaign showed Reagan up three points, 47:44; although as noted earlier, he ended up winning by ten points. To put that another way, although Gallup called the election correctly, it was still off by seven points—and that’s something to keep in mind as the 2016 election nears.

Indeed, we can all step back and ask: This November, will the country vote to renew its commitment to the sort of laxity that enables foreign terrorists to enter the country, even as others take to the streets to loot and burn? If the voters do reward chaos, it will contradict all historical precedent.

That’s the challenge to Hillary: Like Carter before her, she knows better than to run on overt “four more years” agenda, and so, instead, she figures that she must knock Trump out of the box with negative attacks—and coordinate her barrage, of course, with the MSM.

And in defense of her tactics, we might ask: What else can she do? She is trying, of course, to run on the Obama record—offering her presidency, in effect, as his third term. But does that really seem like a winning message?

However, she can’t run on her record, because, as Trump says to great effect, her 30 years in public life about to “all talk, no action.”

And she can’t run on Bill Clinton’s record for many reasons, starting with the fact the trade deals he championed are now in disrepute, and ending, as we have seen, with the sudden re-emergence of his own past sexual indiscretions—and have we mentioned the Clinton Foundation?

Finally, she can’t run on the Democratic platform published in Philadelphia; that was the most left-wing major-party platform in history—does she really want to get into a discussion of open borders in a time such as this?

No, not a one of those options are attractive for her. Thus she is left with just one last option—attack.

So now our comparison of 1980 and 2016 must end—we have to let the election play out. Quite possibly, just as was the lone Carter-Reagan presidential debate in ‘80, the next Clinton-Trump debate, to be held on October 19, will be decisive. Yes, Trump is behind, but as we have seen, in a “change” year, if the challenger can make himself seem acceptable to undecided voters, then the tide of change will sweep him into the White House.

And we also know this: Since Hillary can’t run on her record, can’t run on her vision for the future, and certainly can’t run on her own personal probity, then, like Carter before her, she has only one choice: Attack. That’s what she did Sunday night in St. Louis, that’s what all her campaign surrogates are doing and will be doing, and, of course, that’s what the MSM is and will be doing.




Today’s news is dominated by claims that years ago, Donald Trump made crude comments about women, or inappropriately touched women, or intruded into a women’s dressing room, and so on. Gone from the campaign are such issues as the economy, Obamacare, national security and immigration. As Election Day approaches, the news is all Trump scandals, all the time.

Some will say–I may have said–that Republican primary voters asked for it by nominating a man with obvious personal vulnerabilities, instead of a more upright (and more electable) Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Ted Cruz or whoever.

But what’s a Republican to do? Last cycle, we nominated the ultimate Boy Scout: Mitt Romney. Whatever you think of Romney from a policy perspective, he is as admirable a man as you will ever meet. To find a presidential candidate of better moral character, you probably have to go back to Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. Romney never said a rude word about a woman in his life.

So what happened? Did Romney and the GOP get credit in the press for the candidates’s outstanding character? No. Romney, who helped to create tens of thousands of jobs at Bain Capital, was denounced as a “vulture capitalist” and blamed, absurdly, for one woman’s developing cancer. The Washington Post made a front page story of the fact that 50 years earlier, when he was in high school, he and others had cut a classmate’s hair. Oh, and Romney was a racist, too. Does anyone remember why? I don’t.

The cycle before that, GOP voters nominated John McCain. McCain is a great patriot, a man of extraordinary character and courage who survived years of torture and abuse as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Did the liberal media give Republicans credit for nominating such a hero? No. The New York Times, to its everlasting shame, peddled a false rumor that McCain had an affair with a lobbyist. (Bill Clinton would have done that before breakfast.) It also berated McCain for failing to release his medical records–which, actually, he did, unlike Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

The Left’s permanent smear campaign against conservatives doesn’t just extend to Republican presidential candidates. Recall how the Democrat/media complex treated the Tea Party. Prominent House Democrats lied, disgracefully: they claimed, falsely, that Tea Party activists at a protest in Washington had hurled racial insults at black Democrats like John Lewis. The press ate it up. They printed the Democrats’ lies as facts, and to this day reporters and editors have never corrected the libel, even though a $100,000 prize to anyone who could substantiate the Democrats’ lies went unclaimed.

What’s the point? I’m not really sure. I certainly am not in favor of nominating candidates of poor or marginal character. But the hypocrisy of the liberal media is galling. In this election cycle, lewd comments made decades ago are apparently of earth-shattering importance. Really? Where was that standard when Bill Clinton was running for office? Or John Kennedy? Or Lyndon Johnson? And how about Barack Obama and Joe Biden? Has anyone actually investigated to see what they might have said about women over the last thirty years?

What is the point of nominating someone of extraordinary moral stature, like Mitt Romney, if the political press will not only unanimously refuse to acknowledge the fact, but worse, join in a campaign of deception to smear Romney in the eyes of voters?

These days there is lots of gnashing of teeth over the decline of our political culture. And it surely has declined, as manifested in the current presidential campaign. But one must ask, why has that happened? It seems to me that the media’s permanent smear campaign against the Republican Party, waged cycle after cycle regardless of the actual merits of Republican nominees, is the largest part of the answer.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Friday, October 14, 2016

Republican voters, evangelicals rally around Trump as Congressmen cower

In the midst of a major battle, you do not abandon your post.

That is the message Republican voters, evangelical leaders and conservatives have for Republican establishment leaders in Washington, D.C. who were tripping over themselves to abandon Donald Trump in the wake of the embarrassing decade-old hot mic video of him bragging about his sexual exploits and coming on to married women.

A flash poll by Politico/Morning Consult found what anybody who remembers the failed Bill Clinton impeachment effort, wherein he lied under oath about having sexual relations with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, which is that nobody actually cares about the sexual exploits of rich and powerful men.

74 percent of Republican voters in the poll said they thought that party officials should stand by Trump despite the video revelations. Just 13 percent said they should abandon him. In the meantime, a coalition of prominent evangelical Christian leaders rallied behind Trump, including Tony Perkins, Franklin Graham and Jerry Falwell, Jr., who appeared willing to look past Trump’s past indiscretions.

Perkins told BuzzFeed News in an email: “My personal support for Donald Trump has never been based upon shared values, it is based upon shared concerns about issues such as: justices on the Supreme Court that ignore the constitution, America’s continued vulnerability to Islamic terrorists and the systematic attack on religious liberty that we’ve seen in the last 7 1/2 years.”

Republicans and conservatives rallying around Trump came after a miasma of elected Republican leaders in Congress dumped support for Trump: Sen. John Thune (R-N.D.) called for Trump to withdraw from the race, along with Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and many others. My own local Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) threw Trump under the bus.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) refused to support Trump. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) cancelled a scheduled event with Trump in Wisconsin.

Oh sure, they say they want Republican Indiana Governor Mike Pence to somehow step in, ignoring the fact that it’s basically impossible for anybody but Trump to appear on every state’s ballot, meaning, as noted by national radio host Mark Levin on Monday, that it would result in Republicans and Pence losing in a “massive landslide.”

Apparently, they’d rather lose the White House for four to eight years to Hillary Clinton — and all the consequences that come with that — than to keep fighting. Even as their own voters are rallying to Trump.

Apparently these “leaders” have no idea what animates their own followers. Ryan was booed by some at his event, with some Trump supporters chanting “shame, shame” after the event as he left the stage. Trump campaign manager Kelly Ann Conway chastised Ryan on CBS This Morning on Sunday, saying, “Speaker Ryan of course took to the stage in Wisconsin at his event and faced some boos from the crowd because those who were expecting to see Donald Trump tell us that many of us don’t want to support him and we’re going to take the case directly to their voter.”



I’m a young African-American and I’m voting Trump

I IDENTIFY myself as the colour red. Which means I’m looking forward to Friday, January 20, 2017.

If you don’t know what day that is I will fill you in. That is the day Mr Trump will be sworn in as our president for the next four years. So for all of us who have put in time volunteering, researching our facts, and preparing mentally for that day, we will be very proud to say where we stood from day one.

My name is ShoMore I. DeNiro, I am a 23-year-old African-American woman and I proudly support Donald Trump.

Over the weekend there was a lot of focus on Mr Trump’s comments about women while he was recording a TV program in 2005. As a woman I don’t like his very vulgar comments at all, but it was a private conversation over 10 years ago, and I know this is just locker room talk for some men.

Nobody should be surprised that Trump said this, he has no filter at times, but I still agree with everything he says politically. In fact former President Bill Clinton has done worse while he was President and lied under oath. So no this latest news doesn’t change my vote for Donald Trump at all.

I reside in Canfield, Ohio, which is part of the Youngstown area. If you are familiar with this area, then you would know how “blue” this state can be. Being a Trump supporter in this area is tough, especially if you are African-American. I go to a college that is predominantly African-American.

I wear my “Trump/Pence Make America Great Again” shirt proudly! I know what will be great for our country.
ShoMore (left) isn’t afraid to be a loud and proud Trump supporter.

People have the tendency to ask why? What is wrong with you? How can you vote for him and you’re black? Why not? Nothing is wrong with me. I am voting for him because I am African-American!

I come from two strong working American parents who have strongly installed in my mind that nothing is for free, especially if you want to go somewhere and be great!

Here are my main for reasons for voting for Trump in a countdown.


That includes me and so many others that I know. We want our jobs back. We want a fulltime job with great benefits. Being a young adult this is important. We spend so many years going to school to get that extra education to master our soon to be career. For what? Not to find one?


The man has over 500 companies! He knows how to make something great. Who else can receive money from their father and actually turn it into way more than what they received? To the point where he could pay it back and nothing was lost. He understands what would be a great loss, and what wouldn’t be. He has done business with so many different countries. I am positive he will do well for Americans.


As a young lady this should empower women. Young girls are always saying they want to be a princess, but wouldn’t you want to be a young woman with goals you have achieved? You do not have to wear big puffy dresses to be great. Ivanka has a family and still works hard and shows true dedication. She motivates a lot of young women and girls out here.


He is tough, bold, and cannot be bought! I cannot say that for the other former presidents and candidates. President Obama and his wife are support a lady who in 2008 they said was not fit to be president! Now they want the us to vote for her?

Donald Trump stands for what he says and doesn’t back down. To African-Americans he said, “What do you have to lose?”. Absolutely nothing! So many blacks complain about not being able to find a job, being laid off, or even the first to be fired on jobs. They say that their children are not getting a great education in their schools. Yet, they want to elect another democrat?

People thought what he said was harsh, but it’s what Americans need to hear. He’s not going to back down, because someone doesn’t like what he says.

It is so sad that people actually still vote for a liar and a manipulator. To be truthfully honest, when it comes to the negative feedback the Hillary supporters are the worst.
Donald Trump campaigning in Ohio in August. Picture: Angelo Merendino/Getty Images/AFP

Not too long ago my friends and I from Student for Trump got together and did a quiet protest when former President Bill Clinton was in town. We received the finger multiple times, were told they didn’t like us (even though they knew nothing about us), and that we were uneducated. Which is quite absurd. We are very educated. That is mainly the reason that we will vote for Trump, because we have done our research and we support what he believes in.

I’ve had incidents where a girl and I almost got ran over at the Youngstown McDonald’s after leaving Trump’s Foreign Policy Event. Why? Because we were for Mr Trump.

People ask me “are you fine with him building that wall?” Hecks yes! I would even help. That wall is to protect us Americans. Secure our safety not only for us, but for our friends, and families.

If everyone would just listen and stop being so biased for a second, they would see that Trump is doing absolutely nothing but trying to keep us safe. He wants to bring back the values and morals we use to have in our country.

When he says, “Make America Great Again” that means with our education. One time America was at the top with education, now it has sunk. He is also discussing our jobs. We use to have jobs here and the unemployment rate wasn’t where it is now. Most importantly he wants to bring security to families. Which means taking jobs off our enemies, and building that wall!

This is a great election and I am so proud to be volunteering for this campaign and meeting wonderful people who are just as passionate about politics and our country as I am. I hope that on November 8, 2016 everyone has done their research completely. I am the colour red and I want to help by voting Donald Trump to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!



Hillary lied in debate about not bragging, laughing about getting child rapist off the hook

It is one thing for a politician to lie, it is completely different for Hillary Clinton to lie to the face of the rape victim she laughed at repeatedly. During the town hall style second presidential debate, Kathy Shelton who was raped at the age of 12 sat in the audience as Clinton pretended the mid-1980s tape of her laughing about the securing the release of Shelton’s rapist in 1975 did not exist. Unfortunately for Clinton, it does exist. And it is the reason many females cannot accept her as our leader, let alone the entire nation’s.

During the second presidential debate Trump brought up crippling stories regarding the Clintons, particularly discussing Hillary Clintons aforementioned tape where she is heard laughing about Shelton’s rape case, Clintons response, “Well, first, let me start by saying that so much of what he’s just said is not right.”

But Trump is right, and we have known that for two years.

In June of 2014, the Washington Free Beacon unearthed an interview between reported Roy Reed and Clinton captured on tape and available through the Special Collections Department of the University of Arkansas Libraries. The tape clearly has Clinton bragging about the case, blocking evidence and laughing about her defendant’s crime, at one point she jokes, “I had him take a polygraph, which he passed, which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs.” Her laughter is audible.

Clinton admitted that she believed her client committed the crime and vigorously defended him anyway. As a lawyer this is Clinton’s job, what is disgraceful is lying to the country in front of the victim, mocking her plight, and then continually acting as an advocate for women’s protection.

However, Kathy Shelton is no longer that 12-year-old girl and she made her position on Clinton very strong.

On Oct. 9, 2016 Shelton’s tweets spoke volumes about Clinton. Shelton wrote, “I don’t care if Trump said gross things. I care that Hillary Clinton lied, terrorized, & mocked me, defending my rapist,” “Hillary Clinton is a cold-hearted liar. The lies she told about me, 12 yr old rape victim, traumatized me nearly as much as the rape itself,” and “No little girl should suffer violent rape like I did… But no grown woman should attack that little girl like Hillary Clinton did.”

Most devastatingly, she called for the support and justice she did not receive when she was 12, tweeting, “At 12 I was one of the first women Hillary Clinton destroyed, but I wasn’t the last. Please put an end to this woman’s career of abusing us.”



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Words Versus Deeds

Donald Trump’s gutter talk about women shows yet again that he is bad news. The problem is that Hillary Clinton is far worse.

Women have a right to be offended by Trump’s words. But women have suffered a far worse fate from Secretary Clinton’s and President Obama’s actions. Pulling American troops out of Iraq, despite military advice to the contrary, led to the sudden rise of ISIS and their seizing of many women and young girls as sex slaves.

A message from one of these women urged the bombing of ISIS. She said she would rather be dead than live the life of a sex slave. Some women who tried to commit suicide and failed have been tortured for trying.

Meanwhile, President Obama tried to downplay ISIS with flippant words, by calling them the junior varsity. His half-hearted, foot-dragging military response has allowed ISIS to parade before the world as triumphant conquerors, appealing to disgruntled people in Western countries to carry out terrorist attacks in support of their cause.

That is a lot worse than some stupid and gross words by Donald Trump, which even he has had to repudiate. Make no mistake about it. Neither party has a good candidate for President. The choice is between bad and disastrous.

Are women more in danger from Trump’s words or Hillary’s actions? Are Americans in general more in danger from Trump’s shallowness on issues or Hillary’s ruthless grabs for money and power – a track record that goes all the way back to the days when Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas?

Mrs. Clinton’s own announced agenda attacks the very foundation of American Constitutional government, on which Americans' own freedom depends. She has already said that she will appoint Supreme Court justices who will specifically overturn a recent Supreme Court decision, “Citizens United versus FEC.”

That decision said that both corporations and labor unions have freedom of speech, including the right to contribute money toward political campaigns.

Hillary Clinton’s determination to pick judicial appointees on the basis of their willingness to overturn that decision is a more brazen extension of the political left’s other attempts to stifle the free speech of those who oppose their agenda.

Demands that various advocacy organizations reveal the names of all their donors are an obvious attempt to scare off those donors, with harassment by everyone from vandals to rioters to the Internal Revenue Service and other government bureaucrats.

Without the right to free speech, none of the other rights is safe. Government officials can get away with all sorts of abuses, if others are not free to talk about those abuses.

Despite Hillary Clinton’s claims to be a champion for black people, her political agenda threatens the education of black children, the employment of black adults and the physical safety of black communities.

Mrs. Clinton is on the side of the teachers' unions that want to stop the expansion of charter schools, even though these are among the very few places where black children can get a quality education to prepare them for a better future. Here, as with other issues, her public statements are contradicted by her actions.

No law has done more damage to the employment prospects of young blacks than the federal minimum wage law. But nothing is easier, or more popular, than for some politician to raise the minimum wage – despite the fact that unemployment rates among black young people have skyrocketed to several times what they were before.

You don’t get any wage at all when you are unemployed. And if you are young and unemployed, you don’t get any job experience to help you rise up the ladder, when you don’t get on the ladder.

As for safety in the black community, Hillary Clinton has allied herself with those who demonize the police. The net result has been a sharp increase in the number of blacks killed by other blacks, as criminal elements take control of the streets when the police are not allowed to. Do you choose a President by talk – or by actions and consequences?



It Wasn't Donald Trump Who...

It wasn't Donald Trump who for personal convenience as secretary of state flouted the rules and long-established procedures, taking the unprecedented step of evading the official secure government email system in favor of a private email server for government business, including classified information. And it wasn't Donald who then had the server scrubbed, destroying thousands of messages that were not only government property, but evidence, and then couldn't provide a credible reasons for any of it.

It wasn't Donald Trump whose possible-criminal situation caused untold irregularities in the operation of the State Department, the FBI and the Justice Department. Those included a "chance" meeting on an airport tarmac between the prime suspect's husband and the attorney general of the United States, putting dozens of public servants in the position to destroy their credibility and trustworthiness to save a presidential candidate's backside.

It wasn't Donald Trump whose vast experience in government in the U.S. Senate and the State Department resulted in neglecting dozens of requests for increased security prior to the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. That attack resulted in the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other brave Americans. And it wasn't Trump who then blamed an obscure Internet video for a clear terrorist attack, resulting in jailing the video's producer.

And it wasn't Donald Trump whose frequent profanity-laced tirades insulted and denigrated Secret Service agents and White House staffers.

But that was a long time ago, and since all of that was a long time ago, it probably isn't relevant that it also wasn't Donald Trump who worked for the congressional committee investigating the Watergate cover-up many years ago, and was fired for lying.

It was Donald Trump who took some money from his father, invested it in businesses and created hotels, casinos, golf courses and television shows. Some of his creations didn't work out, as is not uncommon in the world of business. Luminaries such as Henry Ford, Walt Disney, F.W. Woolworth, Albert Einstein and Bill Gates also sometimes failed.

It was Donald Trump who claimed business losses of nearly a billion dollars on tax returns many years ago, probably cancelling an equal amount of income over several years, using provisions in the tax code to reduce taxable income, just as most every American who pays taxes does through deductions for such things as dependents, mortgage interest and charitable giving.

For taking legal tax deductions Trump has attracted mountains of criticism from his betters, who somehow twist this into meaning he doesn't care about the country, or the military and dozens of other things. But the thousands of people who work in his businesses do pay taxes, and that is significant.

And, yes, it was Donald Trump who managed to anger his primary opponents and many Americans with his petulant personal attacks against those who opposed and challenged him. His crass manner leaves much to be desired, and his locker room vulgarity, spoken in private 11 years ago, justifiably repulsed anyone not blinded by partisanship. But if some rapper had used those same words as lyrics, it'd be #1 on Billboard.

Apparently, it's a more serious offense to say things that offend someone than to put national interests at risk, to lose $6 billion of State Department funds and generally fail to competently run the agency you've been entrusted to run, and then go on to make millions giving $250,000 secret-content speeches to Wall Street banks that you publicly criticize. By virtue of merely having been elected a U.S. senator and appointed as a cabinet secretary, you are thus qualified to be president, even if the "best" you did in those positions was inconsequential or, too often, harmful.

Strangely, people are more offended by Trump's words than Hillary's vicious attacks on her hubby's numerous sexual victims and conquests, her position on coal mining and the Supreme Court, and her comments supporting open borders, spoken in a private $250,000 speech.

Trump is a crass bully with an authoritarian streak. Clinton's hubris already put national security at risk, and she will continue Obama's dangerous, destructive, and unconstitutional policies. Thus is our choice.



Trump Will Win the National Battle for Legitimacy

BY DAVID P. GOLDMAN (Whom I have always found to be an unusually insightful commentator -- JR)

The referee should have stopped it in the tenth. Punching at will, Donald Trump said, "Hillary used the power of her office to make $250 million. Why not put some money in? You made a lot of it while you were secretary of State? Why aren't you putting money into your own campaign? Just curious." Reeling and against the ropes, Clinton gasped that she supported ... the Second Amendment. It was a brilliant rhetorical device: under the rubric of campaign financing, Trump slipped in an allegation that Clinton corruptly enriched herself by using the power of her office for personal gain--and Clinton didn't even respond. That's a win by a knockout.

That's the decisive issue of the campaign: the corrupt machinations of a ruling elite that considers itself above the law, and the rage of the American people against the oligarchical ruling class that has pulled the ladder up behind it. Trump's bombshell below Clinton's waterline came at the end of the debate, well prepared by jabs at Clinton's erased emails and Bill's rapes. Trump used the "J" word--that is, jail. That was perhaps the evening's most important moment. This is not an election fought over competing policies but a struggle for legitimacy. A very large portion of the electorate (how large a portion we will discover next month) believes that its government is no longer legitimate, and that it has become the instrument of an entrenched rent-seeking oligarchy.

By and large, I agree with this reading. "America's economy is corrupt, cartelized and anti-competitive," I wrote in August. It is typical of rent-seeking that Lockheed Martin's stock price has tripled during the past three years, and payment to its top management team has risen from $12 million a year to over $60 million a year, while Lockheed Martin's F-35 languishes in cost overruns and deployment delays. Produce a lemon and get rich: that's Washington. It is not a trivial matter, or unrepresentative of our national condition, that the FBI director who declined to prosecute Mrs. Clinton for mishandling of classified material just returned to government from a stint at Lockheed Martin, where he was paid $6 million for a single year's service. I don't know whether FBI Director Comey is corrupt. But it looks and smells terrible.

That's why it was so important for Trump to talk about jail time for his opponent. If things had not gotten to the point where former top officials well might belong in jail, Trump wouldn't be there in the first place. The Republican voters chose a reckless, independently wealthy, vulgar, rough-edged outsider precisely because they believe that the system is corrupt. They are right to so believe; if the voters knew a tenth of what I know about it, they would march on Washington with pitchforks.

Panicky GOP Leaders Should Come Home after Trump Wins Debate #2
The whole weekend news cycle centered around Trump's potty-mouth tape, which will count for exactly nothing in the final tally. No-one who has followed Donald Trump in public media for the past thirty years expected anything less from the great vulgarian. We are stuck with Trump precisely because the Republican establishment imploded over Iraq and the economy.

I assumed that Trump's diffidence during the first debate amounted to profiling his opponent. No-one would remember what was said in the first debate come the general election, and Trump appeared to be probing and watching Clinton's responses. This time he has bloodied her. Whether there is more to come--a thermonuclear revelation of some kind--I have no idea. But given Trump's experience in the entertainment business, we can assume that the really nasty stuff will come out later.

Whoever wins, a very large part of the electorate--perhaps more than a third--will believe that the government lacks legitimacy. We have not had circumstances like this since the Civil War. If Trump loses, his voters will blame a corrupt oligarchy and its allied media for electing a criminal to the White House; if Clinton loses, the minority constituencies of the Democratic Party will respond as if the Klu Klux Klan had taken over Washington. There has never been anything like this in the past century and a half of American history, and it is thankless to predict the outcome. Nonetheless I will: Trump will crush it. Clinton, the major media, the pollsters, and the mainstream Republican Party have badly misread the insurrectionist mood of the electorate.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)