The State Of Our Union, 2019

6 02 2019

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

There is reason to believe that President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address to the American people—delivered before the Congress in the Capitol on Tuesday evening, February 5, 2019—was one of the finest by a U.S. president.  It is worth watching in its entirety, uninterrupted by political commentary[2]:

© 2019, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and Timothy D. Naegele Resume). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See https://youtu.be/BYU5VE2c6Ps

Also, the written text of the President’s speech is available.

See https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trumps-state-union-address-2/ (“President Donald J. Trump’s State of the Union Address”)


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43 responses

6 02 2019
Thomas Simakis

Tim, yes, I agree. One of THE best speeches I have ever had the pleasure to watch!

I loved when our President said we must end division, resistance, revenge and retribution and imbrace cooporation, compromise and the common good. To see Ocasio Cortez face of hate, pouting, anger and her immature disposition, was sooo satisfying!!! Who in the Hell does she think she is?

A freshman 1 term congresswoman (oops) congress child with a 4th grade grasp of economics and politics) was priceless. It disturbed me however to see young people so angry and they do not even have a clue that they have been used and exploited by their liberal education. Time and time again she puts her foot, well feet, hands, any body part she can fit, in her mouth! It amazes me that she can get elected. It’s really scary ! Hoping God will continue to have mercy on the USA and shine a bright light on the rats and they will go off into the wilderness!

I would just be so excited to one day meet you and have coffee with you. peace and health to you Sir.

Thomas Simakis.

P.S.
Yes my Dad was at Normandy also and told me stories about that landing. So I was emotional during the part honoring those WWII vets.

Oh, I think Ms. Cortez said something about starting WWII a few weeks ago! Those darn liberal teachers!!
🤪🤪

6 02 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Tom, for your comments. I agree completely.

Recently, a college professor who has taught in California, Colorado and elsewhere talked about how students are being indoctrinated with Leftist teachings.

He brought up the subject; I didn’t. Yet, they were being indoctrinated when I was in college and law schools too. Then, they meet the cold, hard realities of the outside world; and oops, often lights go on in their thinking.

6 02 2019
H. Craig Bradley

CORTEZ CONQUERED AMERICA ?

Rep. Ocasio Cortez represents the far left component of the Democratic ( Marxist) Party of America. However, a determined minority can, over time, dominate the scene. So, we should not underestimate what she represents (Communism). Ms. Cortez is the head of the spear. If not her, then someone just like her such as Senator Elizabeth Warren.

If enough voters buy-into her extremist social policies and those of her like-minded (Millineal) peers who advocate a 2% annual “wealth tax” on all your assets including IRA’s and 401 (K)’s, then a free and capitalist economy will fast disappear into poverty and dilapidation, as was the case with Eastern Europe prior to 1990.

We may never become quite as bad as Venezuela is today, but we are a candidate for another Argentina, with our very own Eva Peron to lead us to the promised land. All it takes is enough gullible and low information voters to make it happen. Don’t ever let it just happen without a fight.

6 02 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Yes, I agree, Craig.

7 02 2019
thomas simakis

I think, ( hope) there are enough of us to counter those ideals of socialism and marxism. What really concerns me is there are so many of them in our government. We allowed this to happen because over the decades, we have accepted failure from our elected officials. I think Donald Trump woke a lot of people up and THAT is their fear !
No reason why everyone can prosper in the Trump economic system which is just common sense. I could not help but think Nancy Pelosi’s expressions were “ the party is over for them! I’m hoping! 🙏🏼🙏🏼💲💲👍🏼👍🏼

7 02 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you again, Tom, for your thoughts.

The Dems are a vicious crowd, who will use every trick known to mankind to win.

As I have said many times, when I left the Senate and became an Independent, I concluded that the Dems were “evil” but smart, while the Republicans were “Neanderthals,” dumb and spineless.

I have never changed that conclusion.

6 02 2019
H. Craig Bradley

FEEL’IN GOOD IN THE HOOD

Besides the mountain of unpayable debt our state and Federal governments have already taken-out at low rates, the Student Loan Debt Issue needs reform, as well. There is well over $1 Trillion in Unpaid Student Loans Outstanding, 1/3 in arrears and not dischargeable under current Bankruptcy Laws.

See, e.g., https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/markets-by-sector/interest-rates/student-loans-the-economic-time-bomb/

Therefore, President Trump NEEDS to address this important pillar of our economy and release these debtors after proper legal process. If PG&E, as irresponsible as their Board of Directors are, can do it, so should Student Loan Debtors and their parents/families. Its a drag on the economy until reform occurs, as is the “Affordable” Care Act (Obama Care).

Unfortunately, at least in California, there are no current alternatives to ACA Compliant Health Insurance Policies, as the State Insurance Commissioner won’t permit non-compliant (w/ACA) insurance products to be offered in this state.

After three attempts in 2017 with Republicans controlling all three branches of government, repeal of ObamaCare proved to be a non-starter. Subsequent EXO (minor) reforms of ACA by President Trump have not changed the picture in most states. Act of Congress (Law) is hard to get around in most cases.

So, until we turn 65 (Medicare), we are stuck with this huge drag on the economy. It is estimated GDP may be -1% lower due to the financial costs of ObamaCare. ACA compliant health insurance policies are about 150% over-priced compared to pre-Obama Care passage ( prior to 2010).

Economic growth (GDP) over 3% will be very hard to come-by until more financial reforms are enacted by Congress ( A near impossibility). All that is left is to talk the talk and HOPE. However, President Trump can inspire and if enough Republicans AND Independents agree, then we get a second term of relief before the pendulum swings back to the far left and we see collectivism with a vengeance in future years. Its still waiting for us in the wings like a lion .

6 02 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Craig, for your comments.

First, I do not believe that the student debt should be forgiven or wiped out, or that the borrowers should be allowed to go through bankruptcy. They knew the rules when the loans were taken out; and now they should be forced to live with them.

Who is at fault? The students who took on massive debt, and never realized that reality would hit some day, and they would have to pay it back; and that they might not have jobs that would provide enough income to pay down/off the loans.

Many are starting young families, and have mortgages, etc. to pay; and they are struggling. Should they be forgiven their mortgage debt too? Not in their lifetimes. The same should be true of their student debt.

Also, the colleges and universities are at fault. They pushed the student loans to increase their coffers, and fund their Leftist-tenured professors; and they saddled their students with oppressive student debt in the process.

As I have written before, such educational institutions are dinosaurs, just like newspapers.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/are-colleges-dinosaurs (“Are Colleges Dinosaurs?“) (see also the comments beneath the article) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/are-colleges-dinosaurs/#comment-7616 (“Grad-School Loan Binge Increases Debt Worries”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/americas-newest-civil-war-2017-and-beyond/#comment-14564 (“Newspapers Are Dead, Not Dying“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/is-google-becoming-microsoft-or-worse/#comment-15829 (“Boycott The Leftist Wall Street Journal”); see also https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/least-educated-state-california-no-1-percentage-residents-25-and (“Least-Educated State: California No. 1 in Percentage of Residents 25 and Older Who Never Finished 9th Grade; No. 50 in High School Graduates”)

Second, what about America’s elderly poor? Surely they deserve protections and benefits more than those who are trying to shirk their student debts, which they willingly incurred.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/poverty-in-america/#comment-14447 (“Too Little Too Late: Bankruptcy Booms Among Older Americans”)

Third, the Leftist biases on university campuses today must be eliminated, period, or not one penny in government funding should go to them ever again.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/are-colleges-dinosaurs/#comment-12550 (“86 Percent Of University Presidents Cite Negative Effects Of Liberal Political Bias On Campus”)

Fourth, what about credit card debt? Should that be eliminated too?

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/16/the-obama-great-depression/#comment-10570 (“Americans Have The Highest Credit-Card Debt In History”)

Fifth, what about bailing out all Americans who have incurred too much debt? Where does it stop?

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/poverty-in-america/#comment-10290 (“24 Percent Of Americans Do Not Have Single Dollar Saved For Emergency”)

A fascinating side issue is how did Barack Obama pay for his college educations (e.g., Occidental College in Los Angeles, Columbia University in New York City, Harvard Law School) and his travels in the United States and abroad (e.g., Kenya) before he earned his first penny? Most of us could not have afforded what he did, as well as supporting his extensive illegal drug habits.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-9962 (“Barack Obama’s Sex And Drugs Past”)

Lastly, we have discussed California before. It is truly hopeless, both governmentally and legally.

10 02 2019
Don Brown

Hi Tim,

The solution for the current mountain of outstanding student loan debt escapes me. For the long term any solution should take into account the unusual structure of incentives underpinning the student loan program. These are not like a normal loan with a lender and a borrower. In case of student loan lending we have the schools very much in the middle. The schools receive the money, but have no consequence if they fail to deliver a quality education that leaves the student with a skillset enabling the repayment of the loan. No one, the student borrower, the lender, or the school knows whether the classes and instruction they provide will in fact in the future result in a productive borrower able to repay the loan. And the schools don’t care because by the time of any default years have passed. One result of this is the the schools are incentivized to take in and keep as many students as possible regardless of the students performance. In fact it is difficult for a student to fail in most schools as long as they try.

The solution, therefore, over the long term is to put the schools back in the lending relationship. Specifically they should be on the hook for some percentage e.g. 5 to 25%, of the amount owed when the borrower goes into default regardless how many years in the future.

The new liability would change the incentives considerably with the schools taking an active interest in the quality of instruction, but also the content. Schools would have to approve of all loans up front and give consideration to the numbers going into particular programs. No doubt STEM would continue to be fully funded. However, how many communications majors, or women’s studies, etc could a school afford before its financial situation would be threatened?

There are broader reasons for such a change. One reason we’ve had this explosion of frivolous far left activity among academics is that it’s funded by unlimited availability of student loan debt. Attach consequences to schools maintaining these types of studies and they would be downsized if not entirely disappear within a few years. School administration would take an interest in controlling how many of these majors they produced, and would as a result drop many faculty and their departments to focus on those that will produce graduates able to repay their loans. We would still have history majors, women’s studies majors just no where as many as now and the quality would be there.

10 02 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Don, for your fine comments and suggestions with respect to the future.

Rude awakenings may be ahead. If a significant rise in online educations occurs (e.g., as a result of existing educational institutions offering online degrees that do not require physical attendance at their campuses), this may change the “college experience” radically.

In many ways, undergraduate college educations have become “social experiences,” with actual learning/education taking place later in specialized graduate schools (e.g., law, medicine, business).

More and more Americans (e.g., the Middle Class) are being priced out of and cannot afford colleges for their kids without “crippling” their retirement years financially. At some point they may say “no more” and “enough,” and tell their kids to get cheaper online educations while working full-time.

Perhaps the bottom line is that the government should not have gotten into the student loan business. Like families who lose their homes when economic downturns occur, student borrowers and/or their families may suffer the cost and humiliation of defaulting on student loans.

“Easy money” periodically fuels homebuilding and home buyers, until economic downturns bring reality to bear with a resounding stud and, yes, heartaches. Realtors who came onboard in easy, booming times drop out and are gone from the industry.

Lastly, the colleges may “pay the piper” for having encouraged reckless student borrowing and extravagant spending. Why have professors teach the same class repeatedly when it could be taped once (or periodically, as new developments occur) and available on YouTube or its equivalent?

. . .

P.S. Let me add some facts that you may not be aware of. At UCLA, a university that both of us know well, there were approximately 115,000 applicants for its most recent incoming freshman class. It was the most sought-after university in the nation; and a family member of mine applied with a 4.67 GPA (and outstanding activities and recommendations) and was rejected.

I was dumbfounded, and thought that perhaps foreign students made the difference, but was informed that they constituted less than 10 percent of those accepted. Also, I was informed that the school was overwhelmed, and only grades and test scores counted (e.g., no qualitative considerations mattered).

6 02 2019
Richard Schultz

Tim, I absolutely agree. It was his best presentation to date. I just might vote for him again. Who wrote his elegant speech?

6 02 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Richard. Hopefully you do vote for him. 🙂

The speech has been well received.

See, e.g., https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/02/poll-stunner-76-percent-of-viewers-approve-president-trumps-state-of-the-union-speech-72-percent-approve-his-immigration-ideas/ (“POLL STUNNERS: Both CBS and CNN Polls: 76 Percent of Viewers Approve President Trump’s State of the Union Speech; CBS: 72 Percent Approve His Immigration Ideas”)

Normally, speeches like this are truly a “team effort,” with contributions from the White House staff, the Cabinet and affected agencies, with each one signing off on the final result . . . or at least providing input.

An old friend of mine was Nixon’s key speechwriter, and moved to San Clemente with him, as well as being Reagan’s key speechwriter later.

I have tried to get him to write an autobiography, but he does not need the publicity or money; and I expect he will never write it. He would have to “name names” and point fingers, and that is not his style.

I tried to get an old movie mogul friend of mine to do the same, but he begged off and never wrote it. I even offered to help him, but he graciously said no.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/31/jerry-perenchio-kind-and-caring/ (“Jerry Perenchio: Kind And Caring”)

Thank you again for your great article.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/26/get-out-now/ (“Disasters In Montecito: Get Out Now!”)

7 02 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Melania Trump Is A Real Woman, The Women Who Wore White Are Not

Melania Trump

Emily Goodin has written for the UK’s Daily Mail:

First lady Melania Trump entered the House chamber Tuesday night to a standing ovation from lawmakers wearing a black military-style suit with gold buttons and black leather gloves.

She removed one glove to shake hands with guests in her box overlooking the House chamber.

Her $2,390 black Burberry outfit was in sharp contrast to the white that women Democratic lawmakers wore to celebrate the suffragettes.

The first lady watched President Donald Trump give his annual State of the Union address from the first lady’s private box overlooking the House floor.

It was her first official public appearance since she joined her husband on his visit to U.S. troops in Iraq on Christmas Day. She was seen this past weekend when she and the first family traveled to Mar-a-Lago.

She joined lawmakers in applauding her husband as he arrived on the House floor and she removed both gloves for his remarks.

Joining her as her guests were the children of a couple allegedly murdered by an illegal immigrant, a child bullied because he has the last name ‘Trump’, and a recovering opioid addict.

Combating bullying is part of her ‘Be Best’ initiative.

Melania Trump stopped to greet Joshua Trump, who is of no relation to the first family. He sat two spaces down from her during the president’s address.

But it was a late night for the sixth grader, who dozed off during the speech, only to be jerked away when the president was applauded for different lines.

The evening’s event began around 9 p.m. and ended around 10:30 p.m.

Melania Trump sat next to 10-year-old Grace Eline, a cancer survivor, who was bright-eyed through the long night.

She arrived alone for the second year in a row, a break in traditional protocol that was news when revealed last year. This year, the White House offered a preemptive strike and noted the first lady’s separate departure on the president’s public schedule for the day.

Last year, the first lady was facing the public after porn star Stormy Daniels claimed an affair with her husband, which the president has denied.

Melania Trump wore white in 2018 a marked contrast to the tough image she presented this year in her black ensemble.

The White House on Monday posted a list of those invited by the President to sit in the gallery during the speech at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday.

They include the daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter of Gerald and Sharon David, the Reno, Nevada couple whom authorities allege were killed by an undocumented immigrant who broke into their home last month.

Wilbur Ernesto Martinez-Guzman, 20, has been arrested in connection with the Davids’ killing. He is also alleged to have killed two other people.

The couple’s daughter, Debra Bissell; their granddaughter, Heather Armstrong; and great-granddaughter, Madison Armstrong, will be guests of the President and First Lady Melania Trump.

Matthew Charles, who was released from prison after he was sentenced to 35 years for selling crack cocaine and other drug-related offenses, will also be a guest of the White House.

Charles ‘found God’ while incarcerated and also became a law clerk, according to the White House.

Grace Eline, a young girl who was successfully treated for brain cancer, will also be in the gallery for the speech.

As will Ashley Evans, a recovering opioid addict who relapsed after she gave birth to a daughter.

Evans is set to mark 13 months of sobriety. Next week, she will be reunited with her daughter full-time, according to the White House.

Elvin Hernandez, a special agent who works for the Department of Homeland Security, will be at the speech as well.

The President will likely highlight Hernandez’s experience in helping combat human trafficking by organized crime groups.

Two of the guests are connected to the horrific October 2018 massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Timothy Matson of the Pittsburgh Police Department was part of the SWAT team that responded to the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, where 11 people were killed.

Matson suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the leg.

Judah Samet, a member of the Tree of Life congregation, will also be attending the State of the Union.

Samet, a Holocaust survivor who immigrated to Israel after the Second World War and fought in that country’s War of Independence, avoided death after arriving four minutes late to the synagogue.

He was stopped by police for parking in a handicapped spot. By the time he had arrived to the synagogue, the shooter, Robert Bowers, 46, had already opened fire.

When he was just seven years old Samet and his family were rounded up in Hungary by the Nazi secret police, the Gestapo, in 1944 and put on a train to Auschwitz.

But he was re-routed to Bergen-Belsen when Czechs blew up their train tracks.

He spent 10 months in the camp before his family was released, just before the Allies liberated the camp.

The White House has also invited Joshua Trump, who is of no relation to the President.

Joshua Trump is a sixth-grade student from Wilmington, Delaware.

According to the White House, Joshua has been ‘bullied in school due to his last name.’

Joshua’s parents have told of how they had to pull him out of school and change his surname because he has been relentlessly bullied since the 2016 election.

His father, Robert Berto, home schooled him for a year.

When Joshua became old enough to go to middle school, the family reentered him into the mainstream system but they say the bullying started again.

Now they have taken the unusual step of having his name changed from Trump to Berto in the school’s database.

The Trumps have also invited Alice Johnson, a mother-of-five, grandmother-of-six and great-grandmother of one who was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after being convicted of drug dealing in 1996.

It was her first conviction and some of her co-conspirators testified against her in exchange for plea deals.

At the urging of Kim Kardashian, President Trump commuted Johnson’s sentence. She was freed from prison in June after serving 22 years behind bars.

Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s guest for the State of the Union address is a woman who cornered Sen. Jeff Flake on live television to protest his support for Brett Kavanaugh.

Ana Maria Archila, who lives in the star freshman Democrat’s New York District, said she will wear white and a pin that the congresswoman gave her that says, ‘Well-behaved women rarely make history.’

‘I never thought I’d be excited about being in the same room with Donald Trump,’ said Archila, co-executive director of the left-leaning Center for Popular Democracy.

Ocasio-Cortez invited her a few weeks ago, she said, adding, ‘We talked about making sure that we, with our presence, express the dignity of people who are under attack from this administration, the resilience. We will try to communicate that with the way we show up in the space.’

Kavanaugh, now a Supreme Court justice, is also expected to attend Trump’s address. Justices typically attend such speeches delivered by the president who appointed them.

During Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings in September, Archila and another woman confronted Flake in a Senate elevator and, live on CNN, yelled at the Arizona Republican for his intent to vote for the appellate court judge.

Kavanaugh had been accused by Christine Blasey Ford of pinning her to a bed and groping her when the two were teenagers in the 1980s.

Flake later said he wanted to delay the Senate vote to give the committee time to investigate. He ultimately voted to confirm Kavanaugh and is now retired from the Senate.

Kavanaugh angrily denied the accusation and was confirmed to the high court.

But Ford’s and Kavanaugh’s emotional appeals to the Judiciary Committee were a cultural watershed amid the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct.

Kavanaugh’s patron was Trump, who also has been accused of groping more than a dozen women and denies it.

See https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6672183/Melania-dresses-military-style-black-State-Union.html (“Melania dresses in a $2,390 Burberry military-style black for the State of the Union in pointed contrast to Democratic women in white“) (emphasis added; biographies of honored guests and videos omitted)

Melania Trump standing
[Melania Trump and Grace Eline]

9 02 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Somebody Up There Likes Donald Trump [UPDATED]

Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—has written:

If the pollsters at CNN and CBS are correct, Donald Trump may have found the formula for winning a second term in 2020.

His State of the Union address, say the two networks, met with the approval of 76 percent of all viewers – 97 percent of Republicans, 82 percent of independents and 30 percent of Democrats. Seventy-two percent agreed with the president’s plans for securing the border with Mexico.

Trump was not only unapologetic in defense of his wall. He seemed to relish savaging the rising radicalism of Democrats on two critical issues many Democrats have, since their 2018 triumph, seized upon: abortion on demand, right up to the day of birth, and soak-the-rich socialism.

“Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country,” Trump thundered. “America was founded on liberty and independence – not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free.”

“America will never be a socialist country,” Trump roared, as the camera focused in on the scowling face of Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The GOP ovation was thunderous, the Democratic silence revealing. Understandable. For, as in the 1972 Nixon landslide, Democrats appear to be coming down with “McGovernism.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the rookie sensation in Nancy Pelosi’s House, has called for a U.S. income tax rate of 70 percent. As California and New York City have state and local tax rates of 12 percent that are no longer deductible on federal taxes, their most successful residents could be forced to fork over four-fifths of all income every year in taxes.

Some Democrats have called for an 80 percent federal tax rate. New Yorkers who earn $1 million a year would be allowed to keep less than a dime of every added dollar they earn.

Sanders would impose a 45 percent tax on all estates over $3.5 million, rising to 77 percent on estates worth $1 billion.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has proposed a wealth tax to scoop off 2 percent of all the wealth of folks whose net worth reaches $50 million, and 3 percent of all the wealth of every billionaire, every year.

To ex-Mayor Mike Bloomberg, a potential rival in the presidential race, whose New York is witnessing an exodus of its wealthy to Sun Belt states, Warren’s ideas represent a gospel-of-greed stupidity.

Says Bloomberg: “If you want to look at a system that is not capitalistic, just take a look at what was perhaps the wealthiest country in the world and today people are starving to death. It’s called Venezuela.”

Democrats have also embraced the cause of “Medicare-for-all.”

Asked how private health companies that now insure 177 million people would fare under her health-care system, Sen. Kamala Harris was dismissive: “Let’s eliminate all of that. Let’s move on.”

Trump also delivered in-your-face defiance to feminists who seek to guarantee unrestricted access to abortion on demand.

Recalling the celebration, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s guarantee of abortion rights up to the moment before birth became law, Trump declared:

“Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth.

“These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world.

“And then, we had the case of the governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth. To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb. Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life.

“And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: All children – born and unborn – are made in the holy image of God.”

Has any president, in any State of the Union, made a stronger statement in defense of life?

Are Democrats losing their minds? Only 13 percent of Americans believe in letting babies be aborted up to and through the ninth month of pregnancy. In what states are infanticide and socialism winning issues?

In this writer’s home state, Virginia, the resignation of Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, for “racism,” is being demanded by state and national Democrats, because he put on blackface for a Michael Jackson imitation at a dance 35 years ago.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, whose ancestors were slaves on the Revolutionary War plantation of Lord Fairfax, has been accused of sexually assaulting a young woman at the Democratic convention in 2004.

The next in line to succeed the governor, the attorney general, also a Democrat, has just admitted to wearing blackface when he was in school.

And Sen. Warren, says the Washington Post, listed “American Indian” as her race on a State Bar of Texas registration card in 1986.

Yet, according to her DNA and the Cherokee chief, she ain’t one.

Somebody up there likes Donald Trump.

See https://www.wnd.com/2019/02/has-trump-found-the-formula-for-2020/ (“Has Trump found the formula for 2020?“) (emphasis added); see also https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/429207-trump-divides-democrats-with-warning-of-creeping-socialism (“Trump divides Democrats with warning of creeping socialism“) and https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/feb/10/democrats-stumble-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-green-n/ (“‘Impractical’: Democrats struggle to defend much-mocked Green New Deal”—”Critics on both sides of the aisle have questioned the Green New Deal’s demand to phase out fossil fuels by 2030; retrofit all U.S. buildings; implement a federal jobs guarantee; overhaul the transportation sector with high-speed rail, and provide universal health care”)

It warrants repeating the President’s words:

All children – born and unborn – are made in the holy image of God.

As I have written:

An abortion is a criminal act: infanticide. Each of the mothers and the doctors and others who have participated—or participate in the future—in the taking of human lives should be arrested, tried, convicted and . . .

Abortion is the taking of a life!

. . .

IF any exceptions are to be made, they should only occur in the case of rape, incest or where the life of the mother is at risk.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/abortions-and-autos-kill-more-in-america-than-guns/#comment-3298 (“55 Million American Babies Killed Since Roe v. Wade“)

Lots of us began as Democrats, but will never vote for one again.

Baby at 12 weeks
[Baby at 12 weeks]

11 02 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Trump’s 52 Percent Approval Jolts Washington [UPDATED]

David Martosko has written for the UK’s Daily Mail:

Donald Trump’s job approval rating among likely U.S. voters hit 52 per cent on Monday in a daily tracking poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports, the polling organization he uses most frequently to promote himself.

That number is his highest since March 6, 2017, less than seven weeks after he took office. It has been even longer since Trump’s ‘strongly approve’ and ‘strongly disapprove’ numbers weren’t under water. They were even at 39 per cent on Monday.

Overall, 47 per cent of likely voters disapprove of Trump’s Oval Office performance. That’s a low water mark since November 2, 2018.

Monday’s numbers came from surveys conducted during the three weekdays following the president’s State of the Union address. It’s not unusual for presidents to get a polling ‘bump’ after the high-profile annual address.

Trump could use the groundswell now more than ever: A Friday deadline looms for the White House and congressional Democrats to hash out a budget deal to avoid a second government shutdown.

Asked what Monday’s numbers mean, a senior Democratic House aide confided on background: ‘I don’t know yet if it’s horrible, but it sure isn’t good.’

The White House, however, seemed pleased. Trump himself tweeted an image of this story at the top of The Drudge Report, an influential news aggregation website.

The principal battle is shaping up, as it was in December, over the [president]’s demand for money to continue construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Democrats are pledging to yank their purse-strings tight, while Trump has an ace up his sleeve: a threat to declare a national emergency and build the wall with existing funds Congress appropriated last year.

Trump often cites Rasmussen as a rare example of a trustworthy poll, suggesting others are operated by ‘fake news’ out[l]ets that are slanted against him.

The president won 46.1 per cent of the votes cast in the 2016 election, prevailing on the strength of a commanding majority in the Electoral College.

Rasmussen’s Monday numbers suggest Trump could have a majority of Americans behind him and a leg up on his winning position from two years ago.

The president’s approval had been sliding in recent weeks, reaching a low of 43 per cent in the Rasmussen poll as the recent government shutdown wore on.

An average of presidential approval polls maintained by Real Clear Politics now has the president at 42.4 per cent.

That suggests he still has a steep hill to climb at a time when most Americans still blame him and congressional Republicans for the shutdown – and Washington is growing skittish about the possibi[l]ity of a repeat performance Friday night.

The most dire polls included in the current RCP average belong to Reuters and Quinnipiac University, which found last week that just 38 per cent of Americans approve of Trump’s work in the White House.

There are three recent polls that show a whopping 57 per cent disapproving of the president.

Leaders of Congress from both parties, however, consistently fare even worse in national polls.

Unlike most broad samples, which draw from all American adults, Rasmussen surveyers accept responses only from self-described ‘likely voters.’

The Rasmussen survey since November has been the only national poll that records the public’s assessment of the president’s performance every weekday. Gallup ended its competing daily tracking poll last year and now only reports monthly averages.

See https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6691891/Trumps-approval-rating-likely-voters-soars-best-23-MONTHS-52-cent.html (“Trump’s approval rating among likely voters soars to his best in 23 MONTHS at 52 per cent after State of the Union address as border-wall shutdown talks intensify“) (emphasis added; graphics and videos omitted); see also http://m.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/prez_track_feb11 (Daily Presidential Tracking Poll – Rasmussen Reports: ” 52% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance”—”Trump’s highest level of approval since shortly after his inauguration”) and https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/430335-why-trump-will-win-the-wall-fight (“Why Trump will win the wall fight”—”[The President’s] authority to declare national emergencies is basically unfettered”) and http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/trump_approval_index_mar05 (Trump’s Full-Month Approval Bounces Back to 2018 Levels)

15 02 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Will Diversity Be The Death Of The Democrats? [UPDATED]

Democrats are losers

Lots of us began as Democrats, but will never vote for one again. Many of us walked away from the party years ago. Others have left recently, or are leaving now.

Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—has written:

Both of America’s great national parties are coalitions.

But it is the Democratic Party that never ceases to celebrate diversity — racial, religious, ethnic, cultural[, gender] — as its own and as America’s “greatest strength.”

Understandably so, for the party is home to a multitude of minorities.

It is the domain of the LGBTQ movement. In presidential elections, Democrats win 70 percent of Hispanics, Jews and Asian-Americans, and 90 percent of African-Americans.

Yet, lately, the party seems to be careening into a virtual war of all against all.

Democratic Governor Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring of Virginia have both admitted to using blackface.

Northam imitated Michael Jackson’s “moonwalk” in a 1984 dance contest. Herring, in 1980 at the University of Virginia, did a blackface impression of rap icon Kurtis Blow, who called it ugly and degrading.

The resignations of both have been demanded by Virginia’s black leadership. Northam and Herring, however, are defying the demands.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, only the second black ever to win statewide office, has been charged by two women with rape. And the demands for his resignation are growing louder and most insistent.

Yet if Fairfax is forced out, while the white governor and white attorney general get a pass, black leaders warn, all hell is going to bust loose.

The Democratic Party of Virginia was already convulsed over all the monuments, statues, schools, parks, highways and streets that bear the names of slave owners, Confederate soldiers and 19th- and 20th-century segregationists.

Across the Potomac, Ilhan Omar, the first ever Somali-American to serve in Congress, and a Muslim, ignited a firestorm last week when she gave this as the reason Congress faithfully votes the AIPAC line on Israel: “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.”

The reference is to $100 bills, on which Ben Franklin’s face appears. The line is a rap lyric from a 1997 song by Puff Daddy.

Omar was saying Congress has been bought.

The House Democratic leadership demanded and got an apology from Omar for her use of an “anti-Semitic trope.”

But Omar now has company in the House. Palestinian-American Rep. Rashida Tlaib, also a Muslim, shares and airs her views on Israel.

The problem for Democrats?

These provocateurs are magnets for media. They speak for a rising minority in the party that regards Israel as an apartheid state that oppresses Palestinians. And they find an echo among millennials on the party’s socialist left.

As Thursday’s Washington Post headlined, this Omar flap “could forecast a Democratic divide on Israel.”

Indeed, it may have already done so.

When Senate Republicans proposed legislation to allow states to refuse to hire individuals or contractors who support the BDS movement to boycott Israel, Senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders all voted no.

The four say they are supporting freedom of speech to condemn Israeli policy. But to others it looks like a progressive Democratic blessing for those urging that Israel be treated the same way Ian Smith’s Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa were treated.

Within the Democratic coalition, Asian-Americans are now in conflict with blacks and Hispanics over admission policies at elite schools and universities.

Asian-Americans are “overrepresented” where students are admitted based on test scores or entrance exams. Black and Hispanic leaders are demanding that student bodies, regardless of test scores, look like the community. And if this requires affirmative action based upon race and ethnicity, so be it.

The LBGTQ community is now in court demanding all the rights and protections of the civil rights laws of the ’60s. This will bring gay groups into constant collisions with religious communities that adhere to traditional moral views on homosexuality.

The minorities of color in the Democratic coalition are growing, as the base of the GOP is aging and shrinking. But these minorities are also becoming more rivalrous, competitive and demanding. And the further they move left, they more they move outside the American mainstream.

The pledge of allegiance this writer recited every day of school, reads: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Today, the antifa left desecrates the flag, as liberals praise NFL players who “take a knee” during the national anthem. Militant migrants march under Mexican flags to protest border security policies. The “republic” has been by “our democracy.”

We are no longer “one nation … indivisible” We have almost ceased talking to one another. As for “under God,” added in 1954, Democrats at their Charlotte Convention sought to have God excised from the party platform.

“Liberty” has been supplanted by diversity, “justice” by equality.

But as Revolutionary France, Stalin’s USSR, Mao’s China, Castro’s Cuba and Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela proved, regimes that promise utopian and egalitarian societies inevitably reveal themselves to be undertakers of freedom, America’s cause.

See http://buchanan.org/blog/will-diversity-be-the-death-of-the-democrats-136436 (emphasis added); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/the-state-bar-of-california-is-lawless-and-a-travesty-and-should-be-abolished/#comment-16042 (“The State Bar Of California Is The Most Corrupt And Diabolical Trade Association Of Its Kind In The United States, And Must Be Abolished“)

Perhaps the Democrats’ decent began in earnest with the election of the racist, anti-Semite Barack Obama.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“Is Barack Obama A Racist?“) (see also the extensive comments beneath the article) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/#comment-12626 (“DEMOCRATS ARE ANTI-SEMITES“) and https://spectator.org/the-lefts-anti-semitism-problem/ (“The Left’s Anti-Semitism Problem“)

Seemingly it is building to a crescendo now—or nadir—the likes of which have not been seen since the days of George McGovern.

Whatever its path, the Bernie Sanders of this world must be sad. Their once-loved party has moved to the far-Left of them.

The Republicans have no reasons to gloat or celebrate, at least until they have purged their ranks of the despicable Paul Ryan and others of his ilk.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/29/it-is-time-for-trump-supporters-to-fight-back/#comment-15494 (“Paul Ryan: The GOP’s Devil Incarnate“)

Paul Ryan

20 02 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Socialism’s Knack For Making Grown Men Cry: Airbus’ A380 Debacle [UPDATED]

Airbus A380

While the once-thriving Venezuela disintegrates before the eyes of the world, and America’s far-Left jockeys to take its Democratic Party farther into irrelevance, little noticed is the demise of socialist Europe’s prized endeavor: Airbus’ A380.

Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. has written for the Wall Street Journal:

I underestimated the duration of its products. The Boeing 747 first flew in 1969 and a freighter version will continue to be built near Seattle at least through 2022. The Boeing 737, which first flew in 1967, faces an order backlog that extends through 2027. An all-new replacement for the commuter workhorse is unlikely to appear until the 2030s.

Which makes all the more anomalous Airbus’s decision to end production of its impressive and giant A380, which has been flying only since 2005.

Socialism is currently in vogue. If the word means anything in today’s context, it means projects of unusual government ambition, built on our globally shared capitalist technological and commercial base. The A380 was exactly such a project. Underwritten by massive European government subsidies, the plane was an engineering sensation. Passengers loved the roomy jet. Yet now it’s kaput. What went wrong? Or to phrase the question more usefully, what technological and commercial realities would its sponsors have had to overrule to assure its success?

The list is not a short one. They would have had to overrule the desire of passengers to fly direct, bypassing the crowded hub airports (like London’s Heathrow) for which the A380 was built.

They would have had to overrule the preference of business travelers for frequent departures. With 535 seats to fill, the superjumbo was hopelessly matched against operators offering more convenient schedules by using smaller planes.

Most of all, they would have had to overrule the public’s appetite for lower fares. On a per-seat basis, a new generation of super-efficient twin-engine planes such as the Boeing 787 proved cheaper to operate even though the four-engine A380 could accommodate twice as many customers.

In the end, enough socialism could be mobilized to get the plane built, but not enough to make it commercially viable. Europe’s governments would have needed to extend their dominion beyond their own taxpayers who financed it. They would have needed to dictate to the world’s airlines and travelers and even the aerospace industry’s global supplier base, which proved unwilling to develop a new fuel-efficient engine for a plane with a doubtful future.

This should guide us in our thinking about what kind of “socialism” is possible today. Governments can tax their own people until they rebel at the ballot box, refuse to pay, or emigrate. They have no power, in our world, to dictate what kinds of goods and services and technologies (green or otherwise) the global marketplace will accept.

When the end came, it came because the A380’s last dedicated customer, the government-backed Emirates Airline of Dubai, gave up on the superjumbo. Planes in pristine condition were lingering unsold on the used-plane market. A 10-year-old jet was recently retired by Singapore Airlines . Now it’s being broken up for scrap, proving once again socialism’s knack for making grown men cry.

Boeing’s management was vilified at the time for declining to compete with Airbus to replace its own fabulously successful 747 jumbo jet. But Boeing treated its business like a business. Its forecasts showed the market was likely to evolve in ways unfavorable to another very large passenger plane.

French and German politicians ignored such considerations. They were more interested in making a showy statement about Europe’s technological prowess. Boeing chafed for decades at the subsidies they poured into Airbus. Airbus, for its part, was not above portraying the money U.S. taxpayers spent defending the free world as a backdoor handout to Boeing through its defense business. This debate is likely now to get an ugly second wind if U.S. negotiators insist that Airbus pay back the estimated $20 billion in “launch aid” the A380 failed to recoup (the answer will certainly be no).

The parallel to California’s bullet train hardly needs to be drawn. Gov. Gavin Newsom seems already to be walking back his apparent cancellation of the grossly over-budget project. He may hope that Green New Deal dollars from Washington will become available after 2020 to replace the funds California isn’t willing to provide.

But California voters have already gotten the right message: Billions were poured into the project so former Gov. Jerry Brown wouldn’t have to admit a mistake.

The same consideration for years deterred Airbus from blowing the whistle on the A380, but let’s end on a positive note. Today the socialist miscalculations of our infallible leaders are measured mainly in dollars. This represents a great leap forward over the socialist failures that characterized the last century.

See https://www.wsj.com/articles/airbuss-lesson-for-young-socialists-11550619950 (“Airbus’s Lesson for Young Socialists“) (emphasis added); see also https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6762267/Stansted-Airport-closes-passenger-jet-evacuated.html (“Stansted Airport closes as [Airbus] passenger jet is evacuated“) and https://www.newsmax.com/politics/high-speed-rail-funds/2019/02/19/id/903399/ (“Trump Cancels $929M in California High-Speed Rail Funds”—”The Trump administration said Tuesday that it plans to cancel $929 million awarded to California’s high-speed rail project and wants the state to return an additional $2.5 billion that it has already spent. The U.S. Department of Transportation announcement follows through on President Donald Trump’s threats to claw back $3.5 billion that the federal government gave to California to build a bullet train between Los Angeles and San Francisco”) and https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-trump-high-speed-rail-money-20190221-story.html (“Trump’s plan to take back $2.5 billion in California’s high-speed rail funding ‘unprecedented’”)

Meanwhile, Boeing’s highly-touted 787 Dreamliner set a speed record over Pennsylvania.

See http://www.thedrive.com/news/26559/virgin-atlantic-boeing-787-dreamliner-hits-801-mph-over-pennsylvania-thanks-to-jet-stream-tailwind (“Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 Dreamliner Hits 801 MPH Over Pennsylvania, Thanks to Speedy Jet Stream Boost“); see also https://www.boeing.com/

Virgin Atlantic Dreamliner

22 02 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

The Real Scandal Of The Trump Presidency Unravels [UPDATED]

MAGA hat

Conrad Black—the Canadian-born, British former newspaper publisher, author and life peer—has written in the New York Sun:

The most immense and dangerous public scandal in American history is finally cracking open like a ripe pomegranate. The broad swath of the Trump-hating press that has participated in what has amounted to an unconstitutional attempt to overthrow the government are reduced to reporting the events and revelations of the scandal in which they have been complicit, in a po-faced ho-hum manner to impart to the misinformed public that this is as routine as stock market fluctuations or the burning of an American flag in Tehran.

For more than two years, the United States and the world have had two competing narratives: that an elected president of the United States was a Russian agent whom the Kremlin helped elect; and its rival narrative that senior officials of the Justice Department, FBI, CIA, and other national intelligence organizations had repeatedly lied under oath, misinformed federal officials, and meddled in partisan political matters illegally and unconstitutionally and had effectively tried to influence the outcome of a presidential election, and then undo its result by falsely propagating the first narrative. It is now obvious and indisputable that the second narrative is the correct one.

The authors, accomplices, and dupes of this attempted overthrow of constitutional government are now well along in reciting their misconduct without embarrassment or remorse because — in fired FBI Director James Comey’s formulation — a “higher duty” than the oath they swore to uphold the Constitution compelled them. Or — in fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s words — “the threat” was too great. Nevermind that the nature of “the threat” was that the people might elect someone he and Mr. Comey disapproved of as president, and that that person might actually serve his term, as elected.

The extent of the criminal misconduct of the former law enforcement and intelligence chiefs is now notorious, but to make the right point here, it has to be summarized. The fact that the officially preferred candidate lied to federal officials about her emails and acted in outright contempt of Congress and the legal process in the destruction of evidence, was simply ignored by the FBI director, who announced that she would not be prosecuted, though he had no authority to make that determination.

The dossier of salacious gossip and defamatory falsehoods amassed by a retired British spy from the lowest grade of intelligence sources in Russia, commissioned and paid for by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee, was circulated to the media by high public officials and cited in illegal and dishonest applications to authorize surveillance of the campaign of the other presidential candidate. A special counsel was empowered on the false pretext of the necessity to get to the bottom of Trump-Russian collusion in the election, of which there was and remains no evidence, because it did not occur and was a complete partisan fabrication.

The special counsel then packed his staff with militant Clinton partisans, and acted very late and only when his hand was forced by the press to remove two officials who referred in texts to each other to the Bureau’s ability to smear and provoke the impeachment of the winning candidate as “an insurance policy” against his filling the office to which he was elected.

Large sections of the press colluded with the Democratic campaign and produced the doctrine that anything was justifiable, no matter how dishonest, to destroy the incoming president’s reputation and damage him in public opinion polls to legitimize attempts to remove him from office. Large sections of the press deliberately deluged the public with stories they knew to be false about the new president and referred to him in terms of unprecedented vituperation in what purported to be reportage and not comment.

This unorganized but widespread campaign of defamation was taken up by a great number of ordinarily newsworthy celebrities and was accompanied by false, unresearched stories denigrating President Trump’s supporters, such as the false claims about Catholic school students’ treatment of an elderly native American and the false claim that actor Jussie Smollett had been beaten up and reviled by Trump supporters. The former intelligence chiefs of the nation under President Obama repeatedly have accused this president of treason, the most heinous of all crimes, and have asserted with the authority of their former positions that the Russians determined the result of the 2016 presidential election. They knew this to be entirely false.

The special counsel has failed to find any evidence of the collusion and electoral interference that was the justification for establishing his inquiry, and the Democrats are already expressing disappointment in his failure to produce such evidence when the leading Democratic members of congressional investigative committees still robotically claim to have at least prima facie evidence of such collusion.

The dishonest attempt of much of the opposition and what even left-leaning media-monitoring organizations record as 90% of the national press, continued for more than two years to try to condition the country to believe that the president had committed the “high crimes and misdemeanors” required by the Constitution for impeachment and removal from office.

The special counsel, apart from smearing the president, distracted public attention from or tended to justify the ever more evident misconduct of the president’s enemies. We now know that Mr. Comey, despite his “higher duty,” lied to the president about his not being a target of an FBI investigation, illegally leaked to the New York Times the contents of a self-serving memo he purloined from the government, and lied to Congress by claiming 245 times in one sitting to be ignorant of recent matters that no one of sound mind could have forgotten.

Now we have Andrew McCabe’s proud confirmation that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein not only continued the illegal counterintelligence investigation of President Trump, but actively discussed methods of securing his removal from office by deliberate misuse of a variety of laws, including the Emoluments Clause, the 25th Amendment to deal with mental incompetence, and the Logan Act of 1799, which has never been used successfully and has not been tested in 150 years.

This entire monstrous travesty is finally coming apart without even waiting for the horrible disappointment of the special counsel’s inability to adduce a scrap of evidence to justify his replication of Torquemada as an inquisitor and of the Gestapo and KGB at rounding up and accusing unarmed individuals who were not flight risks. The collapse of this grotesque putsch, under the irresistible pressure of a functioning attorney general and Senate committees that are not hamstrung by NeverTrumpers, will cause a revulsion against the Democratic Party that will be seismic and prolonged.

The disgrace of their misconduct is profound and shocking. Richard Nixon, against whom there is no conclusive evidence that he broke any laws (although a number of people in his entourage did) never did anything like this. J. Edgar Hoover in 47 years at the head of the FBI and its predecessor organization, never tried to meddle in a presidential election. Those responsible will pay for this, including at the polls.

Without realizing the proportions of the emergency, America has survived the greatest constitutional crisis since the Civil War. All those who legitimately oppose or dislike the president, including traditional high-brow Republicans who find him distasteful, should join in the condemnation of this largely criminal assault on democracy, and then, if they wish, go out and try to beat him fair and square, the good old-fashioned way, in a free election. But they must abide by the election’s result.

See https://www.nysun.com/national/real-scandal-of-trump-term-starts-to-unravel/90585/ (“Real Scandal Of Trump Term Starts To Unravel“) (emphasis added); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/11/robert-mueller-should-be-executed-for-treason/#comment-16093 (“McCabe’s Shocking Claims Prove The Bloodless Coup Rolls On“) and https://www.wnd.com/2019/02/limbaugh-dems-sicker-by-the-day/ (“LIMBAUGH: DEMS ‘SICKER BY THE DAY'”) and http://news.trust.org/item/20190223105012-nj3yp (“As 2020 candidates turn left, some Democrats worry about the center“)

With all due respect to Conrad Black, “the greatest constitutional crisis since the Civil War” is not over yet. The traitor Robert Mueller—who should be executed for his treasonous conduct—has not issued his final report yet, nor wrapped up his witch hunt.

The Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have not been purged from our political process yet, and will spend the next two years trying to destroy this presidency. And the Neanderthals in the GOP like Paul Ryan have not been run out of Washington yet.

See, e.g., https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/republicans-lawmakers-trump-border/2019/02/25/id/904185/ (“Former GOP Lawmakers Urge Republicans to Reject Border Order“)

In hindsight, as Conrad Black notes, Richard Nixon should not have been removed from office. He endured a stolen election by John F. Kennedy and his Mafia cohorts. Then, he endured Watergate and the “gotcha” press of Woodward and Bernstein and other enemies of America’s democracy.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/john-f-kennedy-the-most-despicable-president-in-american-history/ (“John F. Kennedy: The Most Despicable President In American History“) (see also the extensive comments beneath this article) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/29/it-is-time-for-trump-supporters-to-fight-back/#comment-14660 (“Woodward And Bernstein: Despicable Leftists Bent On Destroying Nixon, Like They Are Doing Now With Respect To President Trump“)

Only when the forces of pure Evil are crushed, imprisoned or executed for treason will the faith of vast numbers of Americans be restored. Until then, “the greatest constitutional crisis since the Civil War” will continue unabated.

Indeed, most American voters say “top Justice Department and FBI officials are likely to have acted criminally when they secretly discussed removing President Trump from office and think a special prosecutor is needed to investigate.”

See http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/february_2019/most_see_crime_in_justice_fbi_coup_against_trump_want_special_prosecutor (“Most See Crime in Justice, FBI ‘Coup’ Against Trump, Want Special Prosecutor“); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/29/it-is-time-for-trump-supporters-to-fight-back/ (“It Is Time For Trump Supporters To Fight Back“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/20/the-american-lefts-feeding-frenzy/ (“The American Left’s Feeding Frenzy“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/should-barack-obama-be-executed-for-treason/ (“Should Barack Obama Be Executed For Treason?“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/06/what-atrocities-did-robert-mueller-commit-in-vietnam/ (“What Atrocities Did Robert Mueller Commit In Vietnam?“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/11/robert-mueller-should-be-executed-for-treason/#comment-15092 (“What Role Did Robert Mueller Play In The Savage Killing Of Whitey Bulger?“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/11/robert-mueller-should-be-executed-for-treason/ (“Robert Mueller Should Be Executed For Treason“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/the-real-russian-conspiracy-barack-obama-the-clintons-and-the-sale-of-americas-uranium-to-russias-killer-putin/ (“The Real Russian Conspiracy: Barack Obama, The Clintons, And The Sale Of America’s Uranium To Russia’s Killer Putin“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/americas-newest-civil-war-2017-and-beyond/ (“America’s Newest Civil War: 2017 And Beyond“); see also the extensive comments beneath each of these articles and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/29/the-death-of-putin-and-russia-the-final-chapter-of-the-cold-war/ (“The Death Of Putin And Russia: The Final Chapter Of The Cold War“)

23 02 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

ISIS’ Last March [UPDATED]

ISIS defeat

James Wood has reported for the UK’s Daily Mail:

The final remnants of Islamic State have left the group’s last pocket of territory in eastern Syria – as truckloads of fighters and their jihadi brides are seen being transported from the area.

The move came just hours after US-led coalition air strikes intended to pressure the militants targeted the area on the banks of the Euphrates River.

At least 36 trucks and two buses were seen leaving the area through a humanitarian corridor from the militants’ last patch of territory in the remote village of Baghouz near the Iraqi border.

They were escorted by gun-mounted trucks belonging to the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

As the convoy passed, automatic machine gun fire could be heard in the distance and coalition aircraft flew overhead.

Some 300 IS militants, along with hundreds of civilians believed to be mostly their families, have been under siege for more than a week in the tent camp in Baghouz.

The Kurdish-led SDF surrounding the patch of land have been unable to carry out a final assault on it because of the presence of the civilians.

An SDF spokesman, Mustafa Bali, said there were coalition air strikes and intermittent clashes earlier on Friday with the militants, which were meant to pressure them into allowing the last civilians to leave.

See https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6735849/Truckloads-ISIS-fighters-jihadi-brides-line-leave-terrorists-frontline.html (“ISIS’s last march: Truckloads of the final fighters and their jihadi brides – carrying designer knockoff bags – line up to leave terrorists’ last frontline after US-coalition airstrikes prompt their surrender“) (emphasis added; video omitted); see also https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6738163/Pregnant-just-10-girl-trapped-sex-slave-ISIS-capital.html (“Pregnant at just 10, girl is trapped as sex slave in ISIS capital“)

Once again, the Kurds have proven to be reliable allies of the United States and the American people . . . and ferocious fighters.

We are indebted to them for helping to crush ISIS and its human traffickers and terrorists.

27 02 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Republican Neanderthals [UPDATED]

GOP establishment Neanderthals

Lots of us began as Democrats, but will never vote for one again. They have gone so far to the Left that they are not worth talking about—or listening to—anymore. They are irrelevant, totally.

As I wrote shortly after this blog began:

Politically, I am an Independent, and have been for several decades, since leaving the U.S. Senate where I witnessed firsthand the shortcomings of both major political parties. I was a member of the National Democratic Club and the National Republican Club of Capitol Hill, simultaneously. I felt it was good business to entertain our clients and others at whichever club they preferred, and I felt comfortable at both of them. In fact, when I worked in the Senate, there was a spirit of bipartisanship and congeniality in both the Senate and House, which I believed was healthy and beneficial for the country.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/about/#comment-861 (“What Is This Blog All About?”)

Needless to say, the spirit of bipartisanship and congeniality in both the Senate and House is gone now, which is not good for our great nation or the American people.

I have voted Republican in recent years, and held my nose in many cases. However, they too have gone off the deep end, and are epitomized by the despicable Paul Ryan who should be run out of Washington. He is the worst of the worst. But other Republicans seem bent on vying for the dubious honors too.

As Emily Goodin and Francesca Chambers have written in the UK’s Daily Mail:

A resolution terminating President Donald Trump’s border emergency passed the House 245-182 on Tuesday evening, mostly along party lines as a rebuke from Democrats.

Thirteen Republican lawmakers joined their colleagues in voting Trump’s emergency down, however, including Michigan’s Justin Amash, Kentucky’s Thomas Massie and Washington’s Jaimie Herrera Beutler.

It fell short of the 290 votes that would be needed to override a veto, but its passage in the House ensures that it will be sent to the U.S. Senate, where at least three Republicans have said they will support it.

Others have indicated they are seriously considering a break with the president over his use of emergency powers, as well.

Trump has vowed to use the power of his presidential veto if the measure winds up on his desk, which would be the first veto of his presidency.

The GOP is in a tough spot on the matter because many Republican lawmakers had privately warned the president against using emergency powers although several don’t want to rebuke him publicly.

‘I am very worried, prudential, about the slippery slope that could occur,’ Sen. Ted Cruz told reporters Tuesday afternoon, pausing to carefully consider his next words, ’emboldening future presidents to implement radical policies, contrary to law and contrary to the Constitution.’

Cruz told DailyMail.com that he had spoken to the president about the national emergency resolution and ‘time will tell’ whether the White House will be able to swing enough Republican lawmakers to sustain a veto.

He said that the GOP had a ‘robust and productive conversation’ at a meeting with the vice president that he’d just come from.

Republican Sen. Thom Tillis on Monday night joined fellow GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins to say he’d vote to block the president’s move.

With all 47 Democrats also voting ‘aye,’ plus those three, it would only take one more Republican to secure passage. Those 51 votes would not be enough to over ride Trump’s expected veto, which takes a two-thirds majority of both chambers.

Tillis told reporters Tuesday, as he entered the Senate GOP’s weekly luncheon, that he agrees with Trump on the border wall but cannot support his use of executive action to construct it, having opposed former President Barack Obama’s power grabs in 2014 when he ran for office.

‘I want to make it clear though, that about half of what the president is allocating to the southern border, without the executive emergency action, I completely agree with,’ he explained. ‘In fact, I agree with the need for about $25 billion to go down there. I just don’t think this is the right, sustainable path.’

Asked if he’s worried that Trump’s declaration will set a ‘dangerous precedent,’ he said he is ‘always’ concerned about the long-term consequences of executive action.

‘You always worry about that. And that’s why I think it’s time for us to support the president, but do it in the right way,’ he stated.

The House is expected to pass the measure terminating Trump’s national emergency proclamation when they vote on it Tuesday evening.

Democrats have argued it’s a constitutional issue.

‘This isn’t about the border. This is about the constitution of the United States,’ Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday evening.

She said she will send the measure to the Senate as soon as it passes the House.

Trump has made it clear he expects his party to back him on the matter.

‘I hope our great Republican Senators don’t get led down the path of weak and ineffective Border Security,’ he tweeted on Monday. ‘Without strong Borders, we don’t have a Country – and the voters are on board with us. Be strong and smart, don’t fall into the Democrats ‘trap’ of Open Borders and Crime!’

But several Republican senators were coy when asked how they’d vote.

Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford said that he’s waiting for the legal justification and the line items of where, exactly, Trump plans to get his money.

‘I have not even seen what the president’s asking for yet. It’s really fascinating to me, we’re disapproving of something that no one’s actually read. Because no one’s actually seen it,’ the Republican senator said. ‘The House certainly hasn’t seen it yet. So they’re disapproving of something that currently doesn’t exist.’

Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the Senate GOP leadership team, said the ‘larger issue’ is that Congress has ‘delegated its authority to the White House in hundreds of instances – and this is just one example.’

‘I think we need to have a bigger conversation about the separation of powers, and whether we want to delegate all this authority to the next president, as well as this president.’

He suggested that the resolution to terminate Trump’s emergency would pass, but the president would veto it, and Democratic lawmakers in the House would not be able to muster enough support to cancel it.

‘I think we’re looking at a veto, and then a veto-override vote, failed veto override vote in the House,’ the Texas Republican asserted.

Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrats who sometimes breaks rank to side with Republicans, said he’s voting for his party’s resolution. He wasn’t confident that Democrats could come up with a large enough coalition in the Senate to override a presidential veto.

‘That I don’t know. I feel very strongly that it’s not constitutional,’ he said.

The White House is working hard to limit Republican support for the measure. Vice President Mike Pence attended the Senate Republican luncheon on Tuesday, where the resolution was a key topic.

The battle in Congress is the latest chapter in a long-running war between Trump and Democrats over border security, immigration policy and the ‘great, great wall’ that Trump has pledged to build since becoming a presidential candidate.

He originally promised that Mexico would pay for it, but after Mexico refused, he asked U.S. taxpayers to foot the bill for the project, which Democrats call unneeded and ineffective.

In his first two years in office, Trump’s Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress, which under the U.S. Constitution holds the national purse strings, but lawmakers failed to provide the funding Trump wanted for his border barrier.

When Congress, with the House now controlled by Democrats, refused in recent weeks to provide the money he wants, Trump declared an emergency and vowed to divert funds toward the wall from accounts already committed by Congress for other purposes.

That set up a test of the constitutional separation of powers between Congress and the presidency that will likely lead to a court challenge after lawmakers deal with the resolution.

A coalition of 16 U.S. states led by California has already sued Trump and top members of his administration in an attempt to block his emergency declaration.

Trump declared the emergency after Congress declined his request for $5.7 billion to help build the wall.

Congress this month appropriated $1.37 billion for building border barriers following a battle with Trump, which included a 35-day partial government shutdown – the longest in U.S. history – when agency funding lapsed on Dec. 22.

See https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6747921/Republicans-vote-Trumps-state-emergency-declaration-Senate.html (“Humiliation for Trump as 13 Republicans rebel in the House to vote down President’s ‘national emergency’, amid fears GOP senators will ALSO vote against it in public rebuke to POTUS“) (emphasis added; videos omitted); see also https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/senate-emergency-declaration-trump/2019/02/27/id/904665/ (“GOP Faces Prospect of Senate Loss on Emergency Declaration”—”Most Republicans who are resisting the emergency declaration are doing so on broader, constitutional grounds“)

What this article fails to mention—and what the GOP Neanderthals seem to ignore—is the following:

Between the enactment of the National Emergencies Act in 1976 through February 15, 2019, 59 emergencies have been declared; 27 have expired while 32 are currently in effect, each having been renewed annually by the president.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_national_emergencies_in_the_United_States (“List of national emergencies in the United States“) (footnotes omitted)

Also, Mexico should pay for the wall ultimately, or lose the benefits of the recent trade treaty between that country, the United States and Canada—which was signed on November 30, 2018, but has not been ratified yet.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States%E2%80%93Mexico%E2%80%93Canada_Agreement (“United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement“); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/15/who-is-next-the-murder-of-a-young-american-and-the-harvesting-of-his-body-parts-in-mexico/#comment-15945 (“Boycott Mexico After Another Savage Killing“)

However, what are the GOP Neanderthals thinking? Surely they are not vying with Maxine Waters to be the worst in the U.S. Congress? If so, they should be driven from Washington like Paul Ryan and the Democrats.

See also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/#comment-12626 (“DEMOCRATS ARE ANTI-SEMITES“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/29/it-is-time-for-trump-supporters-to-fight-back/#comment-15494 (“Paul Ryan: The GOP’s Devil Incarnate“)

Black racist Maxine Waters
[Black racist and anti-Semite Maxine Waters]

2 03 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Our President Is Loved [UPDATED]


[President Trump speaks at CPAC, Washington, D.C., March 2, 2019]

5 03 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Fox’s Juan Williams Is An Angry Leftist Wacko, But Merely One Of Many [UPDATED]

Juan Williams

Lots of us have watched Williams over the years on Fox, and given him the benefit of the doubt, if not actually liked him. But he has gone off the rails now, and deserves zero respect today. Indeed, Fox should fire him, Shepard Smith and Chris Wallace.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/the-real-russian-conspiracy-barack-obama-the-clintons-and-the-sale-of-americas-uranium-to-russias-killer-putin/#comment-11322 (“Fox News’ Shepard Smith Contributes To Clintons’ Treasonous Cover-Up“) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4698558/Fox-News-anchor-attacks-Trump-administration-s-lies.html (“‘The deception is mind-boggling’: Fox News anchor Shep Smith in blistering attack on Donald Jr and the Trump administration’s ‘lies’ about Russia”—”Smith and [his Fox News network colleague Chris Wallace] are both Democrats, masquerading as fair and balanced at Fox. Both are FAKE NEWS”)

WND has reported:

Juan Williams long has been the liberal voice on Fox News, undermining President Trump and his accomplishments, promoting the “Russia” investigation and more.

But now he’s gone, in the words of social media, “nuts.”

It’s because he’s issued the claim that maybe, just maybe, if he’s defeated in the next election, Trump ‘could refuse to leave.”

As in stay in the White House?

As commander-in-chief?

Even though someone else was elected?

Apparently that’s what Williams’ latest contends.

“It is no longer outside the realm of possibility that Trump could refuse to leave if he loses the 2020 election,” Williams stated.

And he pointed out the “virtual army on social media” that would defend him.

Williams said, “Trump has succeeded in using social media to open a Pandor’s Box of racism, hatred, paranoia, conspiracy-mongering, and rejection of the legitimacy of major American institutions, from the courts to the CIA. Closing that horror show will be tough because Trump has inspired imitators like [Jacob] Wohl.”

Williams didn’t address the fact that leftists in government, in places like the DOJ and FBI, with a deep loathing for Trump because he defeated their fave, Hillary Clinton, actually discussed how to prevent him from winning the election, and what they would do if, in fact, he won.

“First of all, no serious person has ever taken Jacob Wohl seriously,” wrote the commentators at Twitchy, “And second of all, what ‘virtual army’ could keep Donald Trump in the White House if Trump were to lose the 2020 election?”

The social media comments that rolled in weren’t long-winded.

“Ridiculous,” said Brad Burges.

“Juan – really?” added Janna Fite Herbison.

“This is nuts,” said Justin T. Haskins.

“Stop being silly, dude,” wrote RBe.

Another anonymous commenter said, “Stop trying to stoke irrational fear.”

“It is absolutely outside the realm of possibility. And I got news for you, a social media army is as threatening as a sponge.”

Another pointed out that Williams “used to be a grown up among all the noisemakers.”

Ray Zacek took a step back to look at the overall situation: “More likely he will win re-election and the left refuses to acknowledge his second term.”

Just days earlier, Williams launched an attack on the “heavily white, older male party of @realDonaldTrump.”

Those people, he said, are “fighting to hold back what they see coming over the horizon.”

See https://www.wnd.com/2019/03/juan-williams-trump-could-refuse-to-leave-office/ (“Juan Williams: Trump may refuse to leave office if he loses in 2020“) (emphasis added; Tweets omitted)

First, what is “coming over the horizon” may shock even Williams and his fellow un-American Leftists.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/americas-newest-civil-war-2017-and-beyond/#comment-16231 (“Are We Moving Ever Closer To America’s Second Civil War?“)

Second, it is growing clearer with each passing day that our President is likely to be reelected in 2020, and quite possibly by a landslide.

See, e.g., http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/trump_approval_index_mar05 (Trump’s Full-Month Approval Bounces Back to 2018 Levels) and http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/march_2019/voters_say_impeachment_unlikely_trump_reelection_instead (“Voters Say Impeachment Unlikely, Trump Reelection Instead“)

Third, the same allegations being leveled against President Trump have been made about Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, by his political opponents.

See, e.g., https://news.yahoo.com/why-bibi-netanyahu-never-quietly-070020832.html (“Why Bibi Netanyahu Will Never Go Quietly“)

I have never been a fan of Netanyahu—and indeed, I have been an outspoken critic of his much of the time—but a madman he is not. Neither is our President; and both have had a good relationship for perhaps decades.

Fourth, to write this much about Williams and his ultra-Leftist, wacko views is more than he deserves.

5 03 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Now Is Time For the Real 2016 Scandal

Hillary behind bars

This is the title of an article by Conrad Black—the Canadian-born, British former newspaper publisher, author and life peer—which appears in the New York Sun:

The whole state of national political discourse has risen a notch, but not from elevated content, rather from a de-escalation of the tawdriness and vituperation of discredited allegations. As the abysmal, shaming failure of the Russian-collusion fraud reveals itself in the run-up to the production of the Mueller report, the president’s accusers, without even a subliminal hint of embarrassment, regret, or belated moderation, lower their sights.

Let us recall that two years ago, all manner of groups were staging sizeable marches all over the world announcing, in Bruce Springsteen’s words (from Perth, Australia), the beginning of the Resistance. The New York Times’ Tom Friedman asserted that the Russian influence on the 2016 election was an infringement of U.S. sovereignty on the same scale as the attacks on Pearl Harbor and the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Hillary Clinton was putting the finishing touches on her book about the 2016 election, which explained that she had lost because of Donald Trump’s treasonable collusion with the Russians in the Kremlin’s tactical interventions in the campaign, and because she was “shivved three times by Jim Comey.” (Never mind that two of these applications of the shiv were exonerations and another was almost certainly a whitewash of illegal conduct.)

Two years ago, the congressional Republican party was sitting on its hands, waiting to see if the president who had run against them as much as against the Democrats would be impeached. Whole conversations between the president and foreign leaders were being leaked, and personnel were coming and going from important positions in the White House in a blur of constant change magnified by the rabidly hostile media.

When President Trump spoke to the Conservative Political Action Committee two years ago, he was received politely but tentatively, hopefulness tempered by astonishment and disbelief. At that time, Nathan Silver was predicting that Mr. Trump’s chances of impeachment were 50–50, and even the sober David Gergen said on CNN “We are moving into impeachment country.” An immense press effort was made to enhance his vulnerability by dragging his approval ratings down into the 30s. His following has been unshakeable.

When the president returned to CPAC on Saturday, it was clear from beginning to end of his extraordinary appearance, speaking largely extempore for over two hours, that he was the head of a united Republican party and a conservative movement lined up to the last male and female combatant behind him.

Mr. Trump’s leadership of the Republicans is now as unambiguous as that of Ronald Reagan and Dwight Eisenhower, an astounding feat in these uproarious circumstances, and given that he is much more of an outsider than Reagan was. (In the case of Eisenhower, the party grandees came caps-in-hand to the general and asked him to run, and Richard Nixon delivered the California delegates to provide the margin of victory in seating the Eisenhower delegates over those pledged to Senate leader Robert A. Taft in a number of contested states, in exchange for the vice presidency.)

Richard Nixon in 1972, on his way to what still stands as the greatest plurality victory in American presidential history (18 million votes in an electorate only about 60% the size of the present one), faced a primary challenge, and won only about 68% in the New Hampshire primary, though he swept everything after that.

At this point, despite obscure audible ruminations in rural church basements by Maryland governor Larry Hogan and John Kasich, former governor of Ohio, not even a mouse is stirring in the Republican party, and the president’s tour de force at CPAC reinforced his position as the head of the entire country to the right of Joe Biden and Michael Bloomberg.

If Mr. Trump is not running next year against either of those men, or possibly Amy Klobuchar or Sherrod Brown, that will be his likely percentage of votes cast next year, around 60%. If he is running against one of the few plausible centrists in the Democratic scrum, his margin could narrow to about 10%, which is still nearly 15 million votes.

As the Democrats take to the lifeboats from their foundering ship of impeachment, the unsinkables who have eschewed life vests are still declaiming on the tilting deck. Jerry Nadler is claiming the president’s 1,100 public references to the Mueller inquiry as a witch-hunt constituted obstruction of justice, and the unstoppable talking head Adam Schiff is still repeating the existence of evidence of Trump–Russian collusion (that he can’t identify and no one else has seen).

Their fallback position, when they finally take the order to abandon ship on Russian collusion, is to make Mr. Trump’s entire career their province and try to paw through everything he ever did commercially, back to childhood lemonade stands. Of course, this will be a complete failure.

The president can ignore these subpoenas and restrict compliance to specific issues, and endless trips up the court ladder could easily retard the progress of this nonsense until the public has entirely lost interest. These are not the same Messrs. Nadler and Schiff of two years ago, who had thin lines of foam and saliva at the corners of their mouths as they solemnly announced that they had cornered the president.

The Trump-hating press did its best with Michael Cohen, a man who again lied to Congress last week, claimed to have flipped against Trump after Charlottesville nearly two years ago, and affirmed that there was no Trump-Russian collusion, although, while the president had never told him to pay off the stripper who was trying to blackmail Trump (Stormy Daniels), he had used a coded method of urging him to do so, which Cohen couldn’t describe.

We have descended from hearsay from a self-confessed liar to hear-intuition from the same majestic source, and the Democrats are so desperate they are having him back in the days immediately preceding his incarceration. We have descended from the drama of the conceivable removal of the world’s premier officeholder to the squalid fabricated evidence of a pathetic plea bargainer, ground to powder by the partisan Mueller meat-grinder.

The Democrats and their press organ monkeys have done their best to sound unctuous and morally outraged and pretend that a credible witness has produced real evidence of a “high crime,” and that an unadmitted response to attempted blackmail constitutes a campaign-finance violation, which is itself a constitutional high crime. But no one believes any of it, and no one cares.

This clunker will take the dead-cat bounce, like all the others, including the weekly bubble of rage about the president’s son-in-law receiving a security clearance. The country is tired of it. Those who detest Trump detest him. Those who like him are no less convinced or numerous than they were. But the modest no-man’s land between them is breaking in the president’s favor as he edges slowly up in the polls.

There are no more plausible revelations; there is no doubt of the country’s economic performance, and the administration is clearly moving coherently and steadily in foreign policy.

In the absence of any new sensational or substantive anti-Trump argument, of anything to justify the howls of racism and misogyny of two years ago, the Resistance is doomed with their nonsense about Cohen and obstruction, and the Never Trumpers are mercifully silent. And those who merely disapprove of Trump, with sadness and nostalgia for more stylish and chivalrous times, such as Peggy Noonan, are back to the character issue.

This is legitimate as a reservation about the president and a reason not to vote for him, but it won’t fly as grounds for impeachment, and is not claimed to be by those who articulate it.

The country knew in 2016 that it was gambling on a garish, financially checkered New York development wheeler-dealer television reality-show star and downmarket impresario. They gambled that someone as far out of the familiar mold of the OBushintons as Trump was could be justified to try to reverse the post-Reagan slide in America’s morale, economic competitiveness, and standing in the world.

By a hair’s breadth, the gamble succeeded, and so far, Trump supporters are reassured. Every conceivable epithet and charge has been hurled at Mr. Trump, and there is almost nothing to any of it. We’re only 20 months from the next election and the Democrats, with no show-stopper to disqualify Mr. Trump, are scrambling to the left like lemmings to mount a radical alternative to the incumbent

If one of the few Democratic moderates can’t get control of the runaway bus, it will go over the cliff. If they can, it will still break down on its axles as the long-delayed inquiry into the skullduggery of the politicized Obama Justice Department and intelligence agencies oozes into the public’s nostrils. The Democrats have had their long turn at mudslinging. Now professionally and discreetly, it is time to unearth the real scandal from the last election.

See https://www.nysun.com/national/its-now-time-for-the-real-scandal-of-2016/90596/ (emphasis added)

There is no question that Black is correct.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/29/it-is-time-for-trump-supporters-to-fight-back/ (“It Is Time For Trump Supporters To Fight Back“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/20/the-american-lefts-feeding-frenzy/ (“The American Left’s Feeding Frenzy“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/the-department-of-injustices-inspector-general-is-complicit-in-the-deep-state-cover-up/ (“The Department Of Injustice’s Inspector General Is Complicit In The Deep-State Cover-Up!“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/should-barack-obama-be-executed-for-treason/ (“Should Barack Obama Be Executed For Treason?“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/06/what-atrocities-did-robert-mueller-commit-in-vietnam/ (“What Atrocities Did Robert Mueller Commit In Vietnam?“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/11/robert-mueller-should-be-executed-for-treason/ (“Robert Mueller Should Be Executed For Treason“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/the-real-russian-conspiracy-barack-obama-the-clintons-and-the-sale-of-americas-uranium-to-russias-killer-putin/ (“The Real Russian Conspiracy: Barack Obama, The Clintons, And The Sale Of America’s Uranium To Russia’s Killer Putin“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/americas-newest-civil-war-2017-and-beyond/ (“America’s Newest Civil War: 2017 And Beyond“) (see also the extensive comments beneath each of these articles); see also http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/trump_approval_index_mar05 (Trump’s Full-Month Approval Bounces Back to 2018 Levels) and http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/march_2019/voters_say_impeachment_unlikely_trump_reelection_instead (“Voters Say Impeachment Unlikely, Trump Reelection Instead“)

6 03 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

California’s Corruption: A Microcosm Of The Nation?

And what about Hollywood, with its century-long “Harvey Weinstein/Roman Polanski/Bill Cosby and others of their ilk” culture?

12 03 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Can The United States Be Saved?

America's destruction

In a recent article, Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—posited that the United States’ destruction may be at hand.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/illegal-immigration-the-solution-is-simple/#comment-16333 (“America’s Destruction Is At Its Doorstep“)

Buchanan has added:

In all but one of the last seven presidential elections, Republicans lost the popular vote. George W. Bush and Donald Trump won only by capturing narrow majorities in the Electoral College.

Hence the grand strategy of the left: to enlarge and alter the U.S. electorate so as to put victory as far out of reach for national Republicans as it is today for California Republicans, and to convert the GOP into America’s permanent minority party.

In the Golden State, Democrats control the governors’ chair, every elective state office, both U.S. Senate seats, 46 of 53 U.S. House seats and three-fourths of each house of the state legislature in Sacramento.

How does the left expect to permanently dispossess Middle America?

Let us count the ways.

In 2018, over 60 percent of Floridians voted to expand the electorate by restoring voting rights to 1.5 million ex-cons, all of Florida’s felons except those convicted of sex crimes and murder.

Florida gave Bush his razor-thin victory over Al Gore. Should Trump lose Florida in 2020, he is a one-term president. If the GOP loses Florida indefinitely, the presidency is probably out of reach indefinitely.

Florida’s Amendment 4 is thus a great leap forward in the direction in which the republic is being taken. Gov. Terry McAuliffe of the swing state of Virginia restored voting rights to 156,000 felons by executive order in 2016, calling it his “proudest achievement.”

In California and Oregon, moves are afoot to reduce the voting age to 17 or 16. Understandable, as high schoolers are more enthusiastic about socialism.

Last week, a bold attempt was made by House Democrats to lower the U.S. voting age to 16. It failed — this time.

Some House Democrats apparently feel that with “Medicare-for-all” and the Green New Deal of Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez on the table, they have enough progressive legislation to satisfy the socialist base.

Thanks to Gov. Jerry Brown, every adult citizen in California who gets or renews a driver’s license, gets a state ID card, or fills out a change of address form with the Department of Motor Vehicles is automatically registered to vote. Purpose: expand voter rolls to include those who have shown no interest in politics, so they can be located on Election Day and bused to the polls.

Ari Berman of Mother Jones writes that Nancy Pelosi’s 700-page For the People Act that did pass the House contains “a slew of measures designed to expand voting rights, which … include nationwide automatic voter registration, Election Day registration, two weeks of early voting in every state … restoration of voting rights for ex-felons, and declaring Election Day a federal holiday.”

House Republicans offered an amendment to the bill with language that said, “allowing illegal immigrants the right to vote devalues the franchise and diminishes the voting power of United States citizens.”

All but six Democrats voted against the GOP proposal.

The Democratic Party does not want to close the door to voting on migrants who broke our laws to get here and do not belong here, as these illegals would likely vote for pro-amnesty Democrats.

If the new U.S. electorate of, say, 2024, includes tens of millions of new voters — 16- and 17-year-olds; illegal migrants; ex-cons; new legal immigrants from Asia, Africa and Latin America who vote 70 to 90 percent Democratic, the political future of America has already been determined.

California, here we come.

As a Democratic insurance policy, Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen has introduced a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College.

Some Republicans support statehood for Puerto Rico, which would add six electoral votes that would go Democratic in presidential elections about as often as Washington, D.C.’s three have, which is always.

Ben Franklin told the lady in Philadelphia, “We have a republic, if you can keep it.” Our elites today, however, ceaselessly celebrate “our democracy.”

Yet John Adams was not optimistic about such a political system: “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes exhausts and murders itself. There never was a Democracy yet, that did not commit suicide.”

Thomas Jefferson, a lifelong believer in a “natural aristocracy” among men, was contemptuous: “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51 percent of the people may take away the rights of the other 49.”

Madison wrote in Federalist 10, “democracies … have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

If one day not far off, as seems probable, tax consumers achieve a permanent hegemony over the nation’s taxpayers, and begin to impose an equality of result that freedom rarely delivers, the question of who should choose the nation’s rulers will be tabled anew.

We do not select NFL coaches or corporate executives or college professors or generals or admirals by plebiscite. What is the empirical evidence that this is the best way to choose a president or commander in chief?

Peoples are wondering that the world over, as our democracy does not appear to be an especially attractive stock.

See http://buchanan.org/blog/how-middle-america-is-to-be-dispossessed-136645 (“How Middle America Is to Be Dispossessed“) (emphasis added)

President Trump is being attacked by the NeverTrumpers within his own party; by the despicable Democrats, and especially by those on the far-Left; by others within his own White House, or those who have left it; and of course by the traitor Robert Mueller, who should be imprisoned for life at the very least.

Is there any hope for the United States after our President’s tenure in office is completed? Is there anyone who can fill his shoes?

20 03 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

America: The Most Powerful Force For Freedom That The World Has Known [UPDATED]

Bald Eagle and American flag

These are the words of former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher that are quoted in an editorial by the editors of the New York Sun, which deals with Brexit:

What would Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher do in respect of Brexit? That’s the question with which we’re wrestling as the second woman premier to lead Britain, Theresa May, flounders toward the March 29 date by which, absent a deal or an agreed-upon delay, Britain will finally regain its independence. How would the Iron Lady handle what the nervous Nellies are calling a colossal constitutional crisis?

We understand that Thatcher has left this mortal coil. We focus on her because, as we’ve often marked, the idea of Brexit took flight only only after Thatcher delivered her famous speech at Bruges, Belgium. That was the speech in which she declared that Britons had not rolled back the frontiers of the state at home only to see “a European super-state exercising a new dominance from Brussels.”

That was in 1988. The speech inspired many among the conservative intelligentsia in Britain — the Bruges Group, it got dubbed — to think about independence. Yet punctilious editorial writing moves us to mark that Mrs. Thatcher herself stopped short of calling for Britain to leave the EU outright. Plus, too, she spoke in a heartfelt way about Britain’s historical and cultural ties. Bruges was a moderate speech.

Thatcher didn’t know it at the time, but she herself had but two years left as premier. Her party leaders turned on her in 1990. So how did her thinking go after that? It happens that there is a riveting clue being linked now on the internet (and above). It features remarks that Mrs. Thatcher delivered to a Conservative Party rally at Plymouth, where she lit into the prime minister at the time, Labor’s Tony Blair.

The leader of the Conservative opposition, Wm. Hague, did grasp what he called the Labor government’s “contempt for the views of the people it governs.” Quoth he: “Talk about Europe and they call you extreme. Talk about tax and they call you greedy. Talk about crime and they call you reactionary. Talk about immigration and they call you racist. Talk about your nation, and they call you Little Englanders.”

Yet Mr. Hague was not prepared to take a hard line on Europe. That fell to Thatcher, when she spoke at Plymouth. She did endorse Mr. Hague. Her focus, though, was excoriating Mr. Blair, and his Labor government, for wanting to “‘lead in Europe.’” She warned that he would “lead Britain by the nose into the single currency,” fairly shouting about Mr. Blair: “he’s prepared to do it.”

“I would never be prepared to give up our own currency,” Thatcher fairly bellowed, and then the famous words: “The greatest issue in this election, indeed the greatest issue before our country, is whether Britain is to remain a free, independent, nation state. Or whether we are to be dissolved in a federal Europe. There are no half measures, no third ways – and no second chances.”

“Too many powers have already passed from our Parliament to the bureaucracy in Brussels,” Thatcher added. “We must get them back.”

She dilated on the pound, to surrender which, she reckoned, would be “to surrender our power of self-government, would betray all that past generations down the ages lived and died to defend. It would also be to turn our back on America, leader of the English-speaking peoples, to whom Europe — let’s remember — also owes its freedom. That is not our way.”

“And where better to take a stand than here in Plymouth?” Thatcher asked. “Plymouth — England’s historic opening to the world. Plymouth – from where Francis Drake, Walter Raleigh, and Captain Cook set out to take the ways of these islands to the uttermost bounds of the earth? Plymouth, from where the Pilgrim Fathers left in that cockle-shell vessel on a voyage which would create the most powerful force for freedom that the world has known?”

Please forgive the long quotes. They strike us as exactly right as Brexit goes down to the wire. We’ve covered this for close to 40 years, and we don’t nurse the slightest doubt about what Margaret Thatcher would have done. She’d have held out for independence, deal or no deal with Europe (or Ireland) and looked to America, Canada, and the other freedom countries as the way forward. Let Mrs. May and her fellow Tories be inspired by the words of the Iron Lady.

See https://www.nysun.com/editorials/brexit-what-would-thatcher-do/90616/ (“Brexit: What Would Thatcher Do?“) (emphasis added; video omitted); see also https://www.nysun.com/foreign/britain-would-be-happier-with-us-canada/90619/ (“Britain Would Be Happier With U.S., Canada“)

Of course Thatcher was correct. As I have written before:

Germany lost World War II, but it won the economic war by its control of the EU and euro. Any doubts, just ask the Greeks.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/29/the-death-of-putin-and-russia-the-final-chapter-of-the-cold-war/#comment-14154 (“GERMANY: TRUMP IS RIGHT, AGAIN!“)

The bottom line is that the UK must follow through with Brexit, just as the United States must reject its Leftists who would destroy our great nation if given half a chance.

Barack Obama took us partway down that path; and Donald Trump has instituted “course corrections” that will change the future of America, just as Abraham Lincoln did.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/americas-newest-civil-war-2017-and-beyond/ (“America’s Newest Civil War: 2017 And Beyond“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“Is Barack Obama A Racist?“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/illegal-immigration-the-solution-is-simple/#comment-16504 (“Is Diversity A Root Cause Of Dual Loyalty?“)

end of eurozone

5 04 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Democrats in 2020: Unelectable Nonentities

Democrats are evil

Conrad Black—the Canadian-born, British former newspaper publisher, author and life peer—has written for AmericanGreatness:

It is uproariously entertaining to see the scurryings of the innumerable host of Democratic presidential candidates in what is already more of a lottery than a quest for the nomination of a great party to the world’s greatest office.

The Gadarene stampede to (and over) the edge of the abyss of all who advocate open borders, 70 percent income taxes, the green terror, socialized medicine, legalized infanticide, reparations to native and African-Americans, packing the Supreme Court, and vacation of the Electoral College, has finally elicited, in a Churchillian expression, a tiny mouse of dissent. The charge to oblivion reminds me of 1972. I had the privilege of knowing Richard Nixon in his last five years of his life and he described to me the reaction he and his wife had to the Democratic opposition of that year. Senator George McGovern (D-S.D.) was nominated on a platform that included a general income tax increase, the transportation by school buses of millions of children all around every metropolitan area to distant neighborhoods in search of “racially balanced” schools, and a capitulation to North Vietnam that was, as even the New York Times acknowledged, more humiliating to the United States than Hanoi was seeking.

It was 3 a.m. when McGovern got to give his nomination acceptance speech in Miami, but Mr. and Mrs. Nixon were in San Clemente, California and as it was only midnight, they watched the speech. Nixon told me that neither of them said a word as the speech was delivered in the Mr. Peepers monotone of the nominee, and that when he ended, the president turned to his wife and uttered this reflection: “All our time in politics, we have fought the Democrats of Roosevelt, Truman, Stevenson, Jack, Lyndon, and Hubert; all substantial and formidable men. How did that great party fall into the hands of such jerks?” (The real last word is not suitable to repeat in a family magazine.)

In 1972, McGovern fairly defeated “Scoop” Jackson, Edmund Muskie, Hubert Humphrey, and George Wallace for the Democratic nomination. All of them except Wallace were moderates and would have put up a reasonable alternative to Nixon. It is little remembered now, but Nixon withdrew from Vietnam while conserving a non-Communist government in Saigon, triangulated great power relations with China and the USSR, and started the Mideast peace process, signed the greatest arms control agreement in history, abolished the draft, ended segregation (without disrupting every school district), and founded the Environmental Protection Agency.

Nixon’s was one of the most successful presidential terms in American history, and he was unbeatable. But McGovern’s electoral death-wish gave Nixon what remains the greatest plurality in American history—18 million votes—although the electorate has increased by almost 80 percent in the intervening 47 years, from 78.3 million voters in 1972 to 136.7 million in 2016.

It is now almost too late for the Democrats to shift lanes into plausible electability. Two of the four candidates who might have done it—Michael Bloomberg and Sherrod Brown—have pulled out. Bloomberg has gone to his default position of trying to buy the office of secretary of state, a post he would probably fill with distinction. But he has not been a good judge of political horse-flesh; he bombed out with Jeb Bush and then with Hillary Clinton, and whoever gets the nod this year will be bucking for the McGovern Prize for electoral ignominy.

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota has kept her head screwed on in policy terms but shows no sign of stirring the voters: Walter Mondale in drag.

The last and not the best hope of sane Democratic contenders is that very tired old plough-horse Joe Biden. With all his malapropisms and foolish ideas, the amiable survivor whose first run for the White House failed 31 years ago because he was caught plagiarizing from one of Britain’s most unsuccessful opposition leaders, Neil Kinnock, is at least not a terrifying radical. And now, he is being sandbagged because he allegedly touched two or more women many years ago, perfectly legally, with no discreditable intent, out of affection with no claimed sexual aspect. It is to this unimaginable depth of idiocy that the American Left’s pursuit of victimhood to be lionized and avenged, and its lust to degrade the straight, adult, white male has descended.

Biden is a memorably unprepossessing candidate for the headship of the American government. Putting tired, banal, stale, but oddly equable old Joe up against the rampaging lion who is the incumbent would be like sending Frederick the Mouse of the children’s bedtime stories to do battle with my late Siamese wondercat, Sidney. Despite Biden’s regret that he never had the opportunity at school to take Trump “behind the gym and beat the hell out of him,” any such match, politically, would be like Sonny Liston’s bout with Albert Westphal: four steps of pursuit, a one punch knockout, and, as Liston said: “I didn’t sweat, so I don’t even need a shower.”

To a slight extent, there has been a move away from the minefield of policy disaster areas mentioned in the second sentence of this piece, by South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Of the lethal landmines upon which most of the Democratic candidates are now stamping their feet, he only seems to subscribe to the climate change fantasy and socialized medicine, though he is also an enthusiast of the putrid corpse of organized labor (now almost confined to public-sector unions).

But though there is nothing wrong with any of the following facts that make Buttigieg distinctive, America is not going to elevate to the White House a 37-year-old gay mayor of a city of 102,000 people, the pinnacle of whose political career was retiring from a run for chairman of the Democratic National Committee on the day of the election. At least Beto O’Rourke, halfwit though he is, gave it a great try for the U.S. Senate from Texas. Such is the poverty of these Democratic candidates, Mayor Pete is starting to rack up some points as an antidote to the geriatric Sanders-Biden vote, which polls show, pulls about 55 per cent of Democrats.

The Democrats temporarily have become a hopeless party. As the Russian collusion fraud vanished, so did any possible argument that there isn’t really a crisis on the southern border. The Trump tax and deregulation reform, which Speaker Pelosi called “the worst disaster in history” (no “constructive Trumpian hyperbole” here), maintains a full employment, noninflationary economy with rising family purchasing power and a growing workforce.

The Democrats haven’t got the message, but those who aren’t punch-drunk out of their senses will decode the political message the night of the election in November 2020. Then, when they have dug out from under the rubble of their fantasies, they can start to rebuild. Both parties have to do it from time to time. The country still seems to like to change parties in the White House every eight years, but the Democrats will have to do better than this farrago of nonsense and nonentities.

See https://amgreatness.com/2019/04/03/democrats-in-2020-unelectable-nonentities/ (emphasis added)

We can only hope that Hillary adds to the circus.

And yes, lots of us began as Democrats, but will never vote for one again.

Hillary behind bars

5 04 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

2020: Socialist America Or Trump’s America? [UPDATED]

This is the title of an article by Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—who states:

In the new Democratic Party, where women and people of color are to lead, and the white men are to stand back, the presidential field has begun to sort itself out somewhat problematically.

According to a Real Clear Politics average of five polls between mid-March and April 1, four white men — Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, “Beto” O’Rourke and Pete Buttigieg — have corralled 62 percent of all Democratic voters.

The three white women running — Senators Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand — have, together, a piddling 8 percent.

The lone Hispanic candidate, Julian Castro, is at 1 percent.

African American candidates Kamala Harris and Cory Booker fare better, with Harris at 10 and Booker at 3.

Who has raised the most money from the most contributors?

Sanders is first with $18 million; Harris is next with $12 million; Beto is third with $9 million in 18 days; and “Mayor Pete” is fourth with $7 million.

Warren, Klobuchar and Gillibrand have yet to file reports.

But the big takeaway from recent weeks is the sudden stunning vulnerability of the front-runner. Seven women have come forward to berate Biden for unwanted and offensive touching and crowding. Joe is on the defensive. Some in the #MeToo movement want him gone.

He is also being slammed for decisions across his 36-year Senate career — opposing busing for integration, deserting Anita Hill in the Clarence Thomas hearings, supporting a racially discriminatory crime bill, voting to authorize George W. Bush to take us into war in Iraq.

And unkindest cut of all: Barack Obama’s stony silence about Joe’s candidacy.

The most compelling case for the 76-year-old ex-vice president is that he can win back Trump’s white working-class voters, and return Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania to the Democratic fold.

Thus a major drop in Biden’s polls could be terminal to his candidacy.

If Biden can’t guarantee a victory over Trump, why go with Joe?

Yet, if he fades away as a candidate, as he has done twice before, who emerges as front-runner? The 77-year-old Socialist Bernie Sanders. If Joe fades, Bernie and the comrades will have removed the last large roadblock to a socialist takeover of the national Democratic Party.

And what would then happen if the Democrats simply held the House, added three Senate seats and defeated Trump in 2020?

An all-out effort to abolish the Electoral College that is integral to the historic compromise that created our federal Union. Puerto Rico and D.C. would become states, giving Democrats four more Senators and making America a bilingual nation.

A drive would be on to give 16-year-olds and convicted felons the right to vote in federal elections, freezing Republicans out of power forever. A packing of the Supreme Court would begin by raising by six the number of justices and elevating liberal activists to the new seats.

On the southern border, where 100,000 illegal migrants were apprehended in March, Trump’s wall would come down, all peoples fleeing repression in Central America would be welcomed into the U.S., sanctuary cities would become the norm, and ICE would be abolished.

Open borders would be a reality, along with amnesty for the 12 million-20 million people here illegally, with a path to citizenship for all.

It is impossible to see how the U.S. border would ever be secured.

The Green New Deal would be enacted. Medicare for all. Free tuition for college students. Millennial college debts paid off by the government. Free pre-K schooling and day care. Guaranteed jobs for all. A guaranteed living wage. Repeal of the Reagan and Trump tax cuts. A re-raising of the corporate rate and a return of the top rate for individuals to 70 percent. New wealth taxes on the rich.

With climate change seen as an existential planetary peril, fossil fuel-powered energy plants — coal, oil, natural gas — would be phased out and a new national reliance on solar and wind begun.

There would be reparations for slavery. Abortion on demand right up to birth for all women. Marijuana would be legalized. Harris has urged that prostitution, sex work, be legalized.

How would the Green New Deal be paid for?

Under “modern monetary theory,” currency is a public monopoly for the government, and unemployment is evidence that the monopoly is choking off the needed supply. So print the money necessary to get to rising wages, full employment and a booming economy.

To achieve Bernie Sanders’ Socialist America, the filibuster would have to be abolished, easily done, and the Constitution altered, requiring the support of three-fourths of the states, not so easy.

Yet, as of today, the unannounced front-runner Joe Biden, who is taking fire from many quarters, appears to be the last man standing between Sanders Socialism and the Democratic nomination.

Should Joe falter and fall, Trump would be the nation’s last line of defense against the coming of a Socialist America. For never-Trump conservatives, the day of reckoning may be just ahead.

See http://buchanan.org/blog/2020-socialist-america-or-trumps-america-136794 (emphasis added); see also http://m.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/prez_track_apr05 (“The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 51% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance“)

It is worth repeating, and emphasizing:

If Joe fades, Bernie and the comrades will have removed the last large roadblock to a socialist takeover of the national Democratic Party.

. . .

[A]s of today, the unannounced front-runner Joe Biden, who is taking fire from many quarters, appears to be the last man standing between Sanders Socialism and the Democratic nomination.

Joe is toast; the handwriting is on the wall. Thus, the socialist takeover of the Democratic Party is here already; that much is certain.

And yes, as I have written many times, I began as a Democrat, but will never vote for one again. Like Ronald Reagan before me, the party left me; I did not leave the party.

The rabid, vicious beasts are at the gate, like the Goths who besieged and overran Ancient Rome. And our enemies around the world are salivating and celebrating.

Americans beware. . .

Compare https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6886705/Is-America-Godless-number-people-no-religion-rose-266-three-decades.html (“Is America becoming Godless? The number of people who have no religion has risen 266 per cent – one third of the population – in three decades“) with https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/what-and-where-is-god/ (“What And Where Is God?“)

10 04 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Will The Democrats And America’s Left Go Extinct? [UPDATED]

Trump and Netanyahu

This is a question that is being asked in Israel and the United States today about the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu’s political opponents on the Left, after his resounding victory.

Will Israel’s election and Netanyahu’s political triumph be a sign of things to come in the United States next year? Will the American Left be decimated, similar to what happened when George McGovern ran for president in 1972?

See https://news.yahoo.com/king-bibi-perennial-survivor-netanyahu-comes-ahead-132954335.html (“‘King Bibi’: perennial survivor Netanyahu comes out ahead”) and https://theweek.com/articles/834287/there-no-left-left-israel (“There is no left left in Israel”—”Center-left social democratic parties have been in sharp decline in recent years across the Western world. But nowhere has the collapse been more stunning than in Israel, whose founders and ruling class for the first 30 years of the country’s existence were very deeply linked with the labor movement. Labor has been in retreat ever since the collapse of peace negotiations with the Palestinians in 2000. But its showing on Tuesday was truly astonishing: With 5 percent of the vote, the Israeli Labor Party is now less than two percentage points away from failing to clear the minimum threshold (3.25 percent) for winning seats in the Knesset. The party is approaching the possibility of extinction”—”Meretz, a social-democratic and green party, had pulled in a barely viable 3.3 percent of the vote”—”[I]n an electoral sense, there is no Israeli left. It exists now primarily in the minds of the right — as an existential threat”—”[T]he right in Israel holds most of the cards, the center is its only opposition and viable alternative, and the left is well and truly dead”) and https://mondoweiss.net/2019/04/zionists-political-partnership/ (“‘It’s a very black morning, and the Israeli left has received a serious blow.’ Yael Patir, a leader of the liberal Zionist group J Street, was frank today about the huge defeat the Israeli left suffered last night. Jeremy Ben-Ami, the head of J Street, was just as direct. The left suffered a ‘radical defeat.’ The liberal Zionist camp of ‘Jewish democratic values we all believe in . . . that camp received the fewest votes that it’s ever received and shows real signs of potentially going extinct in Israel’”) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_McGovern (“George McGovern“)

Only time will tell for certain, but the Democrats are veering so far to the Left that Bernie Sanders seems to be almost a centrist.

And yes, lots of us began as Democrats, but will never vote for one again.

12 04 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Get Out Of The Middle East Once And For All [UPDATED]

U.S. oil-global dominance

Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—has written:

On Monday, President Donald Trump designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, the first time the United States has designated part of another nation’s government as such a threat.

Iran’s Supreme National Security Council responded by declaring U.S. Central Command a terrorist group.

With 5,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and 2,000 in Syria, often in proximity to Iranian units, this inches America closer to war.

Why did we do it? What benefit did the U.S. derive?

How do we now negotiate with the IRGC on missile tests?

Israel’s Bibi Netanyahu took credit for Trump’s decision, tweeting, “Once again you are keeping the world safe from Iran aggression and terrorism. … Thank you for accepting another important request of mine.”

Previous “requests” to which Trump acceded include moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, declaring Jerusalem Israel’s eternal capital, closing the Palestinian consulate and cutting off aid, and U.S. recognition of the Golan Heights, captured from Syria in 1967, as sovereign Israeli territory.

What Bibi wants, Bibi gets.

One hopes his future requests will not include a demand that we cease dithering and deliver the same “shock and awe” to Iran that George W. Bush delivered to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

With Bibi’s election win Tuesday, his fifth, the secret Mideast peace plan Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has been laboring on these last two years is likely to be unveiled.

Yet it is hard to see how Jared’s baby is not stillborn.

Bibi is not going to accept a Palestinian right of return to Israel, or a sharing of the Holy City with a Palestinian state ruled by a successor of Yasser Arafat. And as Bibi fought Ariel Sharon’s withdrawal of the 8,000 Jewish settlers from Gaza, he is not going to order the removal of tens of thousands of Jewish settlers from homes on the West Bank.

Indeed, on the eve of his reelection Tuesday, Bibi promised Israelis he would begin the annexation of Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

As for Trump, he is the most popular man in Israel. And he is not going to force Bibi to do what Bibi does not want to do and thereby imperil his major political gains in the U.S. Jewish community.

Given the indulgence of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party for BDS, the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement, and the divisions among Democrats over Netanyahu’s expansionism, the president’s pro-Israel stance has proven a political winner for the GOP.

But while a U.S. war with Iran may be what Bibi wants, it is not what America wants or needs.

Consider what 20 years of U.S. wars in the Mideast have cost this country, as China has stayed out of the region and pushed its power and influence into Asia, Africa and Europe.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban have regained control of more territory than they have held since 2001, and they are negotiating with the Americans for a withdrawal of our remaining 14,000 troops.

Cost of the Afghan war: 2,400 U.S. dead, 32,000 wounded, $1 trillion sunk, and the U.S. on the precipice of a potential strategic defeat.

So dreadful has become the five-year Yemeni civil war between Iran-backed Houthi rebels and the Saudi-backed regime they ousted that the U.S. House and Senate have invoked the War Powers Act and directed Trump to terminate U.S. assistance for the Saudi intervention.

In Libya, where a U.S.-led NATO intervention overthrew Colonel Gadhafi in 2011, a renegade general now controls two-thirds of the country and is mounting an assault on Tripoli. U.S. soldiers and diplomats fled the capital last week.

In Syria, President Bashar Assad, with the support of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, defeated the U.S. backed-rebels years ago.

The Syrian Kurdish militia we partnered with to crush ISIS have been designated as terrorists by the Turks, who promise to annihilate the Kurds if they try to return to homes along the Turkish border.

As for Turkey itself, President Erdogan says he will take delivery this summer of a Russian-made S-400 air and missile defense system.

Go through with that, says the U.S., and we cancel your order for 100 F-35s. The justified U.S. fear: Russia’s S-400 system will be tested against America’s most advanced fifth-generation fighter, the F-35.

If Turkey does not cancel the S-400, a NATO crisis appears imminent.

In Iraq, where 5,000 U.S. troops remain, the government has both pro-U.S. and pro-Iran elements in Baghdad, and mutual designation of the IRGC and CENT-COM as terrorist organizations can only present hellish problems for America’s soldiers and diplomats still in that country.

Bottom line: Though Bibi and John Bolton may want war with Iran, U.S. national interests, based on the awful experience of two decades, and Trump’s political interests, dictate that he not start any more wars.

Not a single Middle East war this century has gone as we planned or hoped.

See http://buchanan.org/blog/where-trumps-and-bibis-interests-clash-136842 (“Where Trump’s and Bibi’s Interests Clash“) (emphasis added)

Next to the tragic Vietnam War—in which more than 55,000 Americans died, and many more were “maimed” both mentally and physically for the rest of their lives, and trillions of dollars were wasted for nothing—our military “adventure” in Iraq stands out as a colossal waste of precious lives and resources. “Never again” should be the mantra and clarion call of Americans today.

We don’t need the region anymore, for oil or anything else. It has been a burden without benefits.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/a-34-trillion-swindle-the-shame-of-global-warming/#comment-16342 (“America Is Set To Surpass Saudi Arabia And Become The World’s Leading Exporter Of Oil, For The First Time Since The 1950s“); see also https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/approval-rating-rasmussen-reports/2019/04/09/id/910902/ (“Rasmussen: Trump’s Approval Jumps to 53%”—”Trump has a significantly higher approval than former President Barack Obama, at 47 percent, had at this point of his administration”)

22 04 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Potentially Disastrous Economic Consequences For America If Trump Is Not Reelected

Without Trump, US economy tanks

Ira Stoll has written for The New York Sun:

“Political risk” used to be something American investors worried about in connection with foreign countries. It had to do with assessing the likelihood that a dictator would seize power and decide to nationalize the oil industry or the banks. Or that a war would break out and close shipping lanes.

Increasingly, though — and especially headed into the 2020 presidential election — political risk is looming over the American domestic economy and financial markets.

I’m not talking about the risk of President Trump starting a trade war with China, Canada, Mexico, or Europe, though investors have reacted to that threat at times, too.

The bigger concern is the chance that a Democrat will spook the stock markets by appearing likely to defeat President Trump. In a worst-case scenario for Mr. Trump, this could even be a self-fulfilling prophecy: the stock market declines in anticipation of his potentially losing, and the decline then undercuts one of Mr. Trump’s best reelection selling points, the strong economy.

A big part of the story is taxes. An underappreciated political fact of the past 30 years in America is that every president has changed the tax rates. In the three decades between 1988 and 2018 America had six presidents. The best of them, Ronald Reagan, left office with the top individual income tax rate at the lowest level: 28%. George H.W. Bush raised it to 31%. Bill Clinton raised it to 39.6%. George W. Bush lowered it to 35%. Barack Obama raised it back to 39.6%. Donald Trump lowered it to 37%.

Those top marginal rates don’t tell the whole tax story. Mr. Clinton and congressional Republicans cut the capital gains tax to 20% from 28%. George W. Bush cut taxes on dividends and long-term capital gains to 15%. Mr. Trump cut the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%.

For investors, though, [an] American tax increase has an effect similar to a third-world dictator seizing a previously profitable private enterprise. It amounts to the government taking property away from the people who had previously thought they owned it. That does not inspire confidence. Instead, it erodes it.

Ideally, property rights are fixed and based on a predictable rule of law. The oscillating tax rates instead feed the perception that how much of what you earn the government will allow you to keep is dependent on which political party happens to occupy the White House.

One needn’t be an expert soothsayer to predict that if a Democrat defeats Mr. Trump in the 2020 presidential election, taxes will increase. Joseph Biden was vice president during the Obama tax increases.
Senator Sanders is a self-described socialist who ran in 2016 with a plan to raise the top federal individual income tax rate to 54.2% and to tax dividends and capital gains as ordinary income. Pete Buttigieg has said “Tax cuts for the wealthiest … some of ’em are gonna have to be reversed.” Senator Warren has proposed raising taxes by $2.75 trillion over ten years with a new “wealth tax.”

Beyond the overall threat posed by tax increases, the Democrats also could endanger specific sectors of the economy.

A “green new deal” or similar efforts to combat climate change by rapidly changing American energy policy might be good for electric car companies, solar-panel installers, and wind-turbine technicians, but trouble if you own an oil or gas pipeline, refinery, or drilling company.

“Medicare for all” or similar pushes for increased government involvement in health care could hurt profits of health insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry. Axios reports that even Republicans are getting ready to gang up on the drug companies, raising the possibility of a bipartisan deal this year on the issue. The New York Times paraphrased a Goldman Sachs analyst, Stephen Tanal, as saying that “fear of government intervention would probably weigh on health care share prices ‘perhaps until the presidential election itself.’”

Democrats respond to these concerns by citing analyses that the stock market does well in Democratic administrations, or by warning that Republican tax cuts, if “paid for” by borrowing to cover deficits, could eventually precipitate a financial crisis. Some of them also argue that the stock market or the overall economy is driven by business cycles largely unrelated to marginal tax rates.

What the studies about stock market performance during Democratic administrations don’t account for, though, are expectations-based sell-offs that precede those administrations. So looking at the performance of the stock market during President Obama’s term would ignore the nearly 20% plunge that took place after Mr. Obama was elected but before he was inaugurated, and it’d give Mr. Obama credit for the 6% rise between when President Trump was elected and when Mr. Trump was inaugurated.

Control of Congress matters, too — some of the stock market gains during the Clinton and Obama years were racked up when Republicans in Congress put some constraints on Democrats in the White House.

American politics aren’t the only factor affecting stock prices. Monetary policy and global trends matter, too. Long-term savers think about periods longer than a presidential term. If Mr. Trump is re-elected, the tax plans of Mr. Sanders and Mrs. Warren will be irrelevant. Until Election Day, though, investors who entirely ignore American political risk do so at their own peril.

See https://www.nysun.com/national/political-risk-in-us-may-be-factor-for-investors/90658/ (“‘Political Risk’ Emerges as Factor For U.S. Investors”) (emphasis added)

If Hillary Clinton has been elected president in 2016, it is likely that the U.S. economy would have gone into a nosedive, or economic spiral or tailspin. If Donald Trump is not re-elected next year, this may become a self-fulfilling prophecy and inevitable.

6 05 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Is The United States Being Pushed Into Its Next Tragic Middle East War? [UPDATED]


[USS Abraham Lincoln]

Newsmax.com has reported:

The United States is deploying a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East to send a clear message to Iran that any attack on U.S. interests or its allies will be met with “unrelenting force,” U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said on Sunday.

Amid rising tensions between the United States and Iran, Bolton said the decision was “in response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.”

“The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or regular Iranian forces,” Bolton said in a statement.

It marked the latest in a series of moves by President Donald Trump’s administration against Iran in recent weeks.

Washington has said it will stop waivers for countries buying Iranian oil, in an attempt to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero. It has also blacklisted Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The Trump administration’s efforts to impose political and economic isolation on Tehran began last year when it unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal it and other world powers negotiated with Iran in 2015.

“The United States is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force,” Bolton said.

Bolton, who has spearheaded an increasingly hawkish U.S. policy on Iran, did not provide any other details.

A U.S. official said the forces “have been ordered to the region as a deterrence to what has been seen as potential preparations by Iranian forces and its proxies that may indicate possible attacks on U.S. forces in the region.”

The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the United States was not expecting any imminent attack on U.S. forces.

See https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/iran-carrier-bombers-bolton/2019/05/05/id/914652/ (“US Deploying Carrier, Bombers to Middle East in Warning to Iran“) (emphasis added)

The warmonger John Bolton is an Israeli shill, like the equally-despicable neo-cons who pushed the United States into the tragic Iraq War—in which more than 5,000 Americans died and many more were maimed, and trillions of dollars were wasted, for nothing.

As I have written:

Perhaps one of the greatest examples of dual loyalty in recent years involves “Israel Firsters” and “neo-cons” who propelled the United States into the Iraq War, and have sought to promote a war with Iran to serve Israel’s interests.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/illegal-immigration-the-solution-is-simple/#comment-16504 (“Is Diversity A Root Cause Of Dual Loyalty?“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/#comment-16306 (“Anti-Semitism Is Rife In America And Worldwide“) and https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-02/bolton-tests-his-boundaries-and-trump-s-patience-in-growing-role (“Bolton Tests His Boundaries and Trump’s Patience in Growing Role“)

It has been reported that Israel warned the White House of a possible Iran plot against the United States before Bolton’s threats. This smacks of Israel’s claims that Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), which was used to push America into the tragic Iraq War.

Never again, even if Israel’s survival is at stake. The Middle East is not our fight. We are becoming the dominant energy producer in the world again, and energy independent; and we do not need the region anymore, for anything.

See https://www.axios.com/israel-warned-trump-of-possible-iran-plot-bolton-34f25563-c3f3-41ee-a653-9d96b4541984.html (“Israel warned White House of possible Iran plot before Bolton’s threats“)

Vast numbers of Trump supporters have embraced our President because of his commitment to keep the United States out of foreign wars, especially in the Middle East. They may desert him in record numbers if trust in him is broken.

6 05 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Trump Set Up For A Big Win In 2020

Trump wearing MAGA hat

This is the title of an article by Conrad Black—the Canadian-born, British former newspaper publisher, author and life peer—who has written in The New York Sun:

Most of the elements are now in place for a decisive electoral victory for the current president, and a clear mandate to drain the swamp of all that he ran against. It is aberrant that with the economy performing at historic levels, and international relations steadied and easing toward a more satisfactory relationship with China and North Korea, the president’s approval ratings are in the upper forties rather than the low sixties.

President Trump is about where President Obama was at this point in his presidency, but Mr. Obama had not been successful; all he had done was Obamacare, and it was already seen by the country as being far from a comprehensive or optimal solution to the shortcomings of the American health-care dilemma.

Mr. Trump, by contrast, has taken a flatlined economy, where middle-class and working-class purchasing power had not moved in nearly 20 years, the work force was shrinking, and GDP per capita growth was down to 1% and not accruing to the lower two-thirds of the population at all, and produced over 3% income growth for all socioeconomic echelons. The country now has more positions to fill than unemployed people, and the unemployment rate is down to the level of 1969, a figure that was appreciably reduced by having 550,000 draftees in Vietnam.

Even if existing trends continue, this president will probably do better than Mr. Obama did in winning his second term in 2012. Inept though he was after the first debate, Mitt Romney will almost certainly have been a stronger candidate than whoever emerges from the mountainous scrum of mediocrities, cranks, and tired geriatrics contending for the Democratic nomination now.

There are no surprise candidates left in the wings; the only new face who has gained ground is Mayor Peter Buttigieg, and he is not a serious nominee for more than a rise to senator or governor or, on a stretch, vice president.

The veterans, Senator Sanders and Vice President Biden, are more old hat, vieux jeu, than ever. We all get older, but Mr. Sanders is just as vapidly socialist and innumerate as ever, and Mr. Biden is the same old amiable stumblebum we remember. China is our friend, he says; 83% of Americans, he seems not to understand, have received tax cuts, not just the rich Democrats in Wall Street, Hollywood, and Silicon Valley.

Either of them could stir up a bit of enthusiasm for the proverbial “last hurrah” (Edwin O’Connor’s novel and the subsequent film about legendary Boston mayor and Massachusetts governor James Michael Curley), but the idea of either of them actually defeating this president, with this president’s record, is nonsense. It would be, as in the novel and the film (starring the always outstanding Spencer Tracy), a sentimental roundup for a politician who had tried one time too many for high office. Their time and appeal are outdated, but they may be judged to have earned the chance.

Bernie Sanders claims to be the cutting edge of the future, the prophet now being honored by the rallying of the swarm of his younger rivals to many of his radically left ideas from his 2016 campaign, when he lost fairly narrowly to Hillary Clinton. There is some truth to that, but they are all charging to the end of a cul-de-sac.

The “environmental revolution” that Sanders promises is bunk; it is just a Marxist adherence to the formerly reputable opposition to pollution that led Lyndon Johnson to clean up the Great Lakes and Richard Nixon to found the Environmental Protection Agency, mutated into an assault on capitalism in the spurious claim of saving the planet.

The rest of his platform is just a cynical proposal of vote-acquisition by taking money from people who have earned it and redistributing it to people who have not, practically regardless of merit: forgive $1 trillion of student loans, socialize medicine (trillions more), and pile the cost onto anyone who earns more than $200,000 a year.

The American raison d’être and national mythos that hard work and intelligence can lead to the summit of American life, including the White House, is replaced by the deadening, leveling hand of Karl Marx: from each according to his means, to each according to his needs. It is a non-starter in America, a formula for electoral suicide. (Mr. Sanders’ views on legal and penal reform have great merit, but he is never going to get far enough to enact them.)

Joe Biden is the alternative. The younger candidates are in a disorderly foot-race to the left and are generally almost even with Mr. Sanders in policy terms. Kamala Harris wants a “conversation” about every point that she has not resolved (which is most of them), in order not to close the door on even the most fatuous and extreme proposals.

Beto O’Rourke, despite the CNN rogue poll that he would defeat Donald Trump by 11%, remains an arm-flapping airhead with no traction, sinking without a ripple beneath the waves, where Kirsten Gillibrand and many of the others, including the egregious little attack dog Eric Swalwell, have preceded him. Cory Booker, an earnest but verbose and vacuous man, remains afloat with a life vest but is going nowhere.

Elizabeth Warren has also walked off the dock, and only her native headdress is still visible. In these circumstances, the party grandees, along with the majority of sensible rank and file, who would rather lose with honor and in a way that maintains the party’s tradition, will presumably put Mr. Biden in as nominee and offer one of the radical younger people as vice president.

It won’t fly, and Mr. Trump will win easily, probably by about 15 million votes.

There is a tradition in American politics that drives both parties, at lengthy intervals, especially in a year when they are unlikely to win anyway, to let the radical streak take over and give it a try, just to get it out of their system. That is what happened to the Republicans with Goldwater in 1964 and with the Democrats in 1972 with McGovern, and the incumbents, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, won those elections with more than 60% of the vote.

My guess is that Mr. Biden will be elevated over Senator Sanders, and he will try an instant de-aging and hands-across-the-barricades move with some radical-left vice-presidential candidate, such as the fluent and attractive congresswoman from Hawaii, Tulsi Gabbard. (Something must be done to reassure the American people that the true political face of the Aloha State is not the bilious and almost incomprehensible senator, Maisie Hirono. Every time she opens her mouth, the world’s estimation of Hawaii sinks.)

Barring an economic downturn, the Trump reelection campaign will move into a smoother, more suave and conciliatory phase. He has invited agreement on infrastructure, and first indications are positive. Legal matters will take their course, and the Clinton campaign and the Obama Justice Department and intelligence services will take a very spectacular, painful, and well-deserved trip to the woodshed.

To raise his victory from the Obama 2012 level to that of Johnson in 1964 and Nixon in 1972, he should move into the careful mode of tweet restraint, conciliatory gestures, and the assurance of a confident president who no longer has a partisan leopard on his back. The partisan press is finally becoming more subtle. Bob Woodward has expressed concern about spying on the Trump campaign; CNN commentators are sometimes even-handed, as in Jake Tapper’s questioning why Senator Klobuchar gave Mr. Trump no credit for the economy’s good health.

The end of the Mueller episode, a Democratic chimera and Trump nightmare, opens the way to partisan de-escalation. The desperate nonsense of Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff can easily be bypassed. The country wants a restoration of dignity, and the president must lead the way. He behaved with exemplary discretion and consideration in the Kavanaugh/Ford stage of the Supreme Court confirmation hearings, when one misplaced word would have blown the process up in a puff.

Now is the time for more of the same, which he can provide from a position of strength. The only argument left to the Democrats, that he’s not fit to be president, is the easiest of all to debunk. As this process of de-escalation takes its course, the president should commute the sentences of all nonviolent federal first offenders who have served half or more of their sentences, and tangibly encourage the states to do the same.

It is the right thing to do, to ameliorate the evils of the incomparably severe American criminal-justice system, and it would win the votes of millions of non-white victims of the appallingly punitive and rigged system, and millions of white families also. Over 100 million Americans are in families who have been afflicted by the wickedness and severity of the American justice system. They are ready to vote for a reforming president.

President Trump can turn a likely clear win into a mighty landslide. I believe he will do it.

See https://www.nysun.com/national/trump-set-up-for-a-big-win-in-2020-vote/90675/ (emphasis added); see also https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/gallup-trump-approval-rating-ticks-up-to-new-high-of-46-percent/ (“Gallup: Trump Approval Rating Ticks Up to New High of 46 Percent”—”Barack Obama’s job-approval rating was 44 percent in Gallup polling at the same point in his presidency (April 2011)”)

First, the very last thing that Trump supporters can do is become complacent. This is what Hillary Clinton did in 2016, and she lost the election.

Second, the Democrats are unrelenting and vicious. Richard Nixon won by a landslide in 1972, and they forced him out of the presidency. This must never happen again.

Third, lots of us began as Democrats, but will never vote for one again.

7 05 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Is John Bolton Steering Trump Into War with Iran? [UPDATED]

EMP Attack

This is the title of an article by Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—who has written:

Last week, it was Venezuela in America’s gun sights.

“While a peaceful solution is desirable, military action is possible,” thundered Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “If that’s what is required, that’s what the United States will do.”

John Bolton tutored Vladimir Putin on the meaning of the Monroe Doctrine: “This is our hemisphere. It’s not where the Russians ought to be interfering.”

After Venezuela’s army decided not to rise up and overthrow Nicholas Maduro, by Sunday night, it was Iran that was in our gun sights.

Bolton ordered the USS Abraham Lincoln, its carrier battle group and a bomber force to the Mideast “to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.”

What “attack” was Bolton talking about?

According to Axios, Israel had alerted Bolton that an Iranian strike on U.S. interests in Iraq was imminent.

Flying to Finland, Pompeo echoed Bolton’s warning:

“We’ve seen escalatory actions from the Iranians, and … we will hold the Iranians accountable for attacks on American interests. … (If) these actions take place, if they do by some third-party proxy, whether that’s a Shia militia group or the Houthis or Hezbollah, we will hold the … Iranian leadership directly accountable for that.”

Taken together, the Bolton-Pompeo threats add up to an ultimatum that any attack by Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, or Iran-backed militias — on Israel, Saudi Arabia, the UAE or U.S. forces in Iraq, Syria or the Gulf states — will bring a U.S. retaliatory response on Iran itself.

Did President Donald Trump approve of this? For he appears to be going along. He has pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and re-imposed sanctions. Last week, he canceled waivers he had given eight nations to let them continue buying Iranian oil.

Purpose: Reduce Iran’s oil exports, 40% of GDP, to zero, to deepen an economic crisis that is already expected to cut Iran’s GDP this year by 6%.

Trump has also designated Iran a terrorist state and the Republican Guard a terrorist organization, the first time we have done that with the armed forces of a foreign nation. We don’t even do that with North Korea.

Iran responded last Tuesday by naming the U.S. a state sponsor of terror and designating U.S. forces in the Middle East as terrorists.

Iran has also warned that if we choke off its oil exports that exit the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz, the Strait could be closed to other nations. As 30% of the world’s oil shipments transit the Strait, closing it could cause a global crash.

In 1973, when President Nixon rescued Israel in the Yom Kippur War, the OPEC Arabs imposed an oil embargo. Gas prices spiked so high Nixon considered taking a train to Florida for Christmas vacation.

The gas price surge so damaged Nixon’s standing with the public that it became a contributing factor in the drive for impeachment.

Today, Trump’s approval rating in the Gallup Poll has reached an all-time high, 46%, a level surely related to the astonishing performance of the U.S. economy following Trump’s tax cuts and sweeping deregulation.

While a Gulf war with Iran might be popular at the outset, what would it do for the U.S. economy or our ability to exit the forever war of the Middle East, as Trump has pledged to do?

In late April, in an interview with Fox News, Iran’s foreign minister identified those he believes truly want a U.S.-Iranian war.

Asked if Trump was seeking the confrontation and the “regime change” that Bolton championed before becoming his national security adviser, Mohammad Javad Zarif said no. “I do not believe President Trump wants to do that. I believe President Trump ran on a campaign promise of not bringing the United States into another war.

“President Trump himself has said that the U.S. spent $7 trillion in our region … and the only outcome of that was that we have more terror, we have more insecurity, and we have more instability.

“People in our region are making the determination that the presence of the United States is inherently destabilizing. I think President Trump agrees with that.”

But if it is not Trump pushing for confrontation and war with Iran, who is?

Said Zarif, “I believe ‘the B-team’ wants to actually push the United States, lure President Trump, into a confrontation that he doesn’t want.”

And who makes up “the B-team”?

Zarif identifies them: Bolton, Benjamin Netanyahu, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.

Should the B-team succeed in its ambitions — it will be Trump’s war, and Trump’s presidency will pay the price.

See http://buchanan.org/blog/is-bolton-steering-trump-into-war-with-iran-2-136946 (emphasis added)

As I stated previously:

The warmonger John Bolton is an Israeli shill, like the equally-despicable neo-cons who pushed the United States into the tragic Iraq War—in which more than 5,000 Americans died and many more were maimed, and trillions of dollars were wasted, for nothing.

. . .

Vast numbers of Trump supporters have embraced our President because of his commitment to keep the United States out of foreign wars, especially in the Middle East. They may desert him in record numbers if trust in him is broken.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/the-state-of-our-union-2019/#comment-17120 (“Is The United States Being Pushed Into Its Next Tragic Middle East War?“)

Even more importantly, will a nation-ending EMP Attack be launched against Israel and/or the United States?

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/#comment-15839 (“Will The United States And Israel Cease To Exist?“) and https://www.timesofisrael.com/democrats-warn-trump-is-leading-us-toward-war-with-iran/ (“Democrats warn Trump is leading US toward war with Iran”—”The liberal Mideast advocacy group J Street put much of the blame on Bolton, who is known for his hawkish views. . . . ‘John Bolton was instrumental in pushing the US into a disastrous war of choice with Iraq,’ said J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami, ‘and now he’s using the same playbook to try to instigate a new confrontation with Iran’”)

14 05 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Warmonger: Enemy Of The American People [UPDATED]

John Bolton is an Israeli shill, and an enemy of the American people. Like the neo-cons who pushed the United States into the tragic Iraq War—in which more than 5,000 Americans died and many more were maimed, and trillions of dollars were wasted, for nothing—Bolton is determined to push us into a war with Iran, which will doom the Trump presidency. But since Bolton is beholden to a foreign state, such considerations escape him.

He must be jettisoned from the Trump presidency, and returned to his foreign sponsors, who will pay him well until he is of no further use to them. Indeed, query how much money Bolton received directly or indirectly from Israel before he entered the White House?

Eric Schmitt and Julian E. Barnes have written in the New York Times:

At a meeting of President Trump’s top national security aides last Thursday, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated military plan that envisions sending as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons, administration officials said.

The revisions were ordered by hard-liners led by John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser. They do not call for a land invasion of Iran, which would require vastly more troops, officials said.

The development reflects the influence of Mr. Bolton, one of the administration’s most virulent Iran hawks, whose push for confrontation with Tehran was ignored more than a decade ago by President George W. Bush.

It is highly uncertain whether Mr. Trump, who has sought to disentangle the United States from Afghanistan and Syria, ultimately would send so many American forces back to the Middle East.

It is also unclear whether the president has been briefed on the number of troops or other details in the plans. On Monday, asked about if he was seeking regime change in Iran, Mr. Trump said: “We’ll see what happens with Iran. If they do anything, it would be a very bad mistake.”

There are sharp divisions in the administration over how to respond to Iran at a time when tensions are rising about Iran’s nuclear policy and its intentions in the Middle East.

Some senior American officials said the plans, even at a very preliminary stage, show how dangerous the threat from Iran has become. Others, who are urging a diplomatic resolution to the current tensions, said it amounts to a scare tactic to warn Iran against new aggressions.

European allies who met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday said that they worry that tensions between Washington and Tehran could boil over, possibly inadvertently.

More than a half-dozen American national security officials who have been briefed on details of the updated plans agreed to discuss them with The New York Times on the condition of anonymity. Spokesmen for Mr. Shanahan and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, declined to comment.

The size of the force involved has shocked some who have been briefed on them. The 120,000 troops would approach the size of the American force that invaded Iraq in 2003.

Deploying such a robust air, land and naval force would give Tehran more targets to strike, and potentially more reason to do so, risking entangling the United States in a drawn out conflict. It also would reverse years of retrenching by the American military in the Middle East that began with President Barack Obama’s withdrawal of troops from Iraq in 2011.

But two of the American national security officials said Mr. Trump’s announced drawdown in December of American forces in Syria, and the diminished naval presence in the region, appear to have emboldened some leaders in Tehran and convinced the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps that the United States has no appetite for a fight with Iran.

Several oil tankers were reportedly attacked or sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates over the weekend, raising fears that shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf could become flash points. “It’s going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens,” Mr. Trump said on Monday, asked about the episode.

Emirati officials are investigating the apparent sabotage, and American officials suspect that Iran was involved. Several officials cautioned, however, that there is not yet any definitive evidence linking Iran or its proxies to the reported attacks. An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman called it a “regretful incident,” according to a state news agency.

In Brussels, Mr. Pompeo met with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany, cosignatories of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, as well as with the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini. He did not speak to the media, but the European officials said they had urged restraint upon Washington, fearing accidental escalation that could lead to conflict with Iran.

“We are very worried about the risk of a conflict happening by accident, with an escalation that is unintended really on either side,” said Jeremy Hunt, the British foreign secretary.

The Iranian government has not threatened violence recently, but last week, President Hassan Rouhani said Iran would walk away from parts of the 2015 nuclear deal it reached with world powers. Mr. Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement a year ago, but European nations have urged Iran to stick with the deal and ignore Mr. Trump’s provocations.

The high-level review of the Pentagon’s plans was presented during a meeting about broader Iran policy. It was held days after what the Trump administration described, without evidence, as new intelligence indicating that Iran was mobilizing proxy groups in Iraq and Syria to attack American forces.

As a precaution, the Pentagon has moved an aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers, a Patriot missile interceptor battery and more naval firepower to the gulf region.

At last week’s meeting, Mr. Shanahan gave an overview of the Pentagon’s planning, then turned to General Dunford to detail various force options, officials said. The uppermost option called for deploying 120,000 troops, which would take weeks or months to complete.

Among those attending Thursday’s meeting were Mr. Shanahan; Mr. Bolton; General Dunford; Gina Haspel, the C.I.A. director; and Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence.

“The president has been clear, the United States does not seek military conflict with Iran, and he is open to talks with Iranian leadership,” Garrett Marquis, a National Security Council spokesman, said Monday in an email. “However, Iran’s default option for 40 years has been violence, and we are ready to defend U.S. personnel and interests in the region.”

The reduction of forces in the Middle East in recent years has been propelled by a new focus on China, Russia and a so-called Great Powers competition. The most recent National Defense Strategy — released before Mr. Bolton joined the Trump administration — concluded that while the Middle East remains important, and Iran is a threat to American allies, the United States must do more to ensure a rising China does not upend the world order.

As recently as late April, an American intelligence analysis indicated that Iran had no short-term desire to provoke a conflict. But new intelligence reports, including intercepts, imagery and other information, have since indicated that Iran was building up its proxy forces’ readiness to fight and was preparing them to attack American forces in the region.

The new intelligence reports surfaced on the afternoon of May 3, Mr. Shanahan told Congress last week. On May 5, Mr. Bolton announced the first of new deployments to the Persian Gulf, including bombers and an aircraft carrier.

It is not clear to American intelligence officials what changed Iran’s posture. But intelligence and Defense Department officials said American sanctions have been working better than originally expected, proving far more crippling to the Iranian economy — especially after a clampdown on all oil exports that was announced last month.

Also in April, the State Department designated the Revolutionary Guards a foreign terrorist organization over objections from Pentagon and intelligence officials who feared reprisals from the Iranian military.

While much of the new intelligence appears to have focused on Iran readying its proxy forces, officials said they believed the most likely cause of a conflict will follow a provocative act, or outright attack, by the Revolutionary Guards’ navy. The Guards’ fleet of small boats has a history of approaching American Navy ships at high speed. Revolutionary Guards commanders have precarious control over their ill-disciplined naval forces.

Part of the updated planning appears to focus on what military action the United States might take if Iran resumes its nuclear fuel production, which has been frozen under the 2015 agreement. It would be difficult for the Trump administration to make a case that the United States was under imminent nuclear peril; Iran shipped 97 percent of its fuel out of the country in 2016, and currently does not have enough to make a bomb.

That could change if Iran resumes enriching uranium. But it would take a year or more to build up a significant quantity of material, and longer to fashion it into a weapon. That would allow, at least in theory, plenty of time for the United States to develop a response — like a further cutoff of oil revenues, covert action or military strikes.

The previous version of the Pentagon’s war plan included a classified subset code-named Nitro Zeus, a cyberoperation that called for unplugging Iran’s major cities, it[s] power grid and its military.

The idea was to use cyberweapons to paralyze Iran in the opening hours of any conflict, in hopes that it would obviate the need to drop any bombs or conduct a traditional attack. That plan required extensive presence inside Iran’s networks — called “implants” or “beacons” — that would pave the way for injecting destabilizing malware into Iranian systems.

Two officials said those plans have been constantly updated in recent years.

But even a cyberattack, without dropping bombs, carries significant risk. Iran has built up a major corps of its own, one that successfully attacked financial markets in 2012, a casino in Las Vegas and a range of military targets. American intelligence officials told Congress in January that Iranian hackers are now considered sophisticated operators who are increasingly capable of striking United States targets.

Since Mr. Bolton became national security adviser in April 2018, he has intensified the Trump administration’s policy of isolating and pressuring Iran. The animus against Iran’s leaders dates back at least to his days as an official in the George W. Bush administration. Later, as a private citizen, Mr. Bolton called for military strikes on Iran, as well as regime change.

The newly updated plans were not the first time during the Trump administration that Mr. Bolton has sought military options to strike Iran.

This year, Defense Department and senior American officials said Mr. Bolton sought similar guidance from the Pentagon last year, after Iranian-backed militants fired three mortars or rockets into an empty lot on the grounds of the United States Embassy in Baghdad in September.

In response to Mr. Bolton’s request, which alarmed Jim Mattis, then the defense secretary, the Pentagon offered some general options, including a cross-border airstrike on an Iranian military facility that would have been mostly symbolic.

But Mr. Mattis and other military leaders adamantly opposed retaliation for the Baghdad attack, successfully arguing that it was insignificant.

See https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/13/world/middleeast/us-military-plans-iran.html (“White House Reviews Military Plans Against Iran, in Echoes of Iraq War“) (emphasis added); see also https://www.axios.com/iran-military-troops-john-bolton-1d4a714c-ea52-483f-b392-2ac2af01f423.html (“Iran tensions: Pentagon presented plan to deploy 120,000 troops in case of escalation“) and https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9069070/us-deploy-troops-middle-east-iran-iraq-war/ (“US ‘plans to deploy 120,000 troops to Middle East’ if Iran attacks American forces in chilling echos of Iraq War“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/the-state-of-our-union-2019/#comment-17129 (“Is John Bolton Steering Trump Into War with Iran?“); but see https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-iran-military/trump-denies-u-s-military-considering-120000-troops-to-counter-iran-threat-idUSKCN1SK1YM (“Trump denies U.S. plan to send 120,000 troops to counter Iran threat“) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7037549/Air-Force-deployed-20-missiles-fry-military-electronics-North-Korea-Iran.html (“[U.S.] Air Force has deployed 20 missiles that could fry the military electronics of North Korea or Iran“)

This is utter madness.

The United States is becoming the largest energy producer in the world once again, and we do not need the Middle East—or Israel—for anything anymore. Also, an overwhelming number of Americans elected Donald Trump to keep us out of foreign wars, not to embark on new ones. His most loyal supporters may desert him in next year’s election (or stay home and refuse to vote) if he embarks on the despicable Bolton’s Folly: another tragic Middle East proxy war for Israel.

Indeed, query whether the attacks on oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates over the weekend were the work of Israel, just as it attacked the USS Liberty?

See, e.g., http://www.naegele.com/documents/USSLibertyMemorial.pdf (“USS Liberty Memorial“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-544 (“Why I Write And Say What I Do“)

Lastly, it is worth repeating a paragraph from the New York Times article cited above:

The reduction of forces in the Middle East in recent years has been propelled by a new focus on China, Russia and a so-called Great Powers competition. The most recent National Defense Strategy — released before Mr. Bolton joined the Trump administration — concluded that while the Middle East remains important, and Iran is a threat to American allies, the United States must do more to ensure a rising China does not upend the world order.

This is so so true. America’s priorities and interests are not in the Middle East.

See, e.g., https://www.businessinsider.com/trade-war-trump-mulls-more-tariffs-300bn-china-peoples-war-2019-5 (“Beijing calls for a ‘people’s war’ against the US as Trump threatens tariffs on another $300 billion of Chinese goods in all-out trade battle“)

17 05 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Who Wants This War With Iran? [UPDATED]


[USS Abraham Lincoln]

This is the title of an article by Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—who has written:

Speaking on state TV of the prospect of a war in the Gulf, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei seemed to dismiss the idea.

“There won’t be any war. … We don’t seek a war, and (the Americans) don’t either. They know it’s not in their interests.”

The ayatollah’s analysis — a war is in neither nation’s interest — is correct. Consider the consequences of a war with the United States for his own country.

Iran’s hundreds of swift boats and handful of submarines would be sunk. Its ports would be mined or blockaded. Oil exports and oil revenue would halt. Air fields and missile bases would be bombed. The Iranian economy would crash. Iran would need years to recover.

And though Iran’s nuclear sites are under constant observation and regular inspection, they would be destroyed.

Tehran knows this, which is why, despite 40 years of hostility, Iran has never sought war with the “Great Satan” and does not want this war to which we seem to be edging closer every day.

What would such a war mean for the United States?

It would not bring about “regime change” or bring down Iran’s government that survived eight years of ground war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

If we wish to impose a regime more to our liking in Tehran, we will have to do it the way we did it with Germany and Japan after 1945, or with Iraq in 2003. We would have to invade and occupy Iran.

But in World War II, we had 12 million men under arms. And unlike Iraq in 2003, which is one-third the size and population of Iran, we do not have the hundreds of thousands of troops to call up and send to the Gulf.

Nor would Americans support such an invasion, as President Donald Trump knows from his 2016 campaign. Outside a few precincts, America has no enthusiasm for a new Mideast war, no stomach for any occupation of Iran.

Moreover, war with Iran would involve firefights in the Gulf that would cause at least a temporary shutdown in oil traffic through the Strait of Hormuz — and a worldwide recession.

How would that help the world? Or Trump in 2020?

How many allies would we have in such a war?

Spain has pulled its lone frigate out of John Bolton’s flotilla headed for the Gulf. Britain, France and Germany are staying with the nuclear pact, continuing to trade with Iran, throwing ice water on our intelligence reports that Iran is preparing to attack us.

Turkey regards Iran as a cultural and economic partner. Russia was a de facto ally in Syria’s civil war. China continues to buy Iranian oil. India just hosted Iran’s foreign minister.

So, again, Cicero’s question: “Cui bono?”

Who really wants this war? How did we reach this precipice?

A year ago, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a MacArthurian ultimatum, making 12 demands on the Tehran regime.

Iran must abandon all its allies in the Middle East — Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, Hamas in Gaza — pull all forces under Iranian command out of Syria, and then disarm all its Shiite militia in Iraq.

Iran must halt all enrichment of uranium, swear never to produce plutonium, shut down its heavy water reactor, open up its military bases to inspection to prove it never had a secret nuclear program and stop testing missiles. And unless she submits, Iran will be strangled with sanctions.

Pompeo’s speech at the Heritage Foundation read like the terms of some conquering Caesar dictating to some defeated tribe in Gaul, though we had yet to fight and win the war, usually a precondition for dictating terms.

Iran’s response was to disregard Pompeo’s demands.

And crushing U.S. sanctions were imposed, to brutal effect.

Yet, as one looks again at the places where Pompeo ordered Iran out — Lebanon, Yemen, Gaza, Syria, Iraq — no vital interest of ours was imperiled by any Iranian presence.

The people who have a problem with Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon are the Israelis whose occupations spawned those movements.

As for Yemen, the Houthis overthrew a Saudi puppet.

Syria’s Bashar Assad never threatened us, though we armed rebels to overthrow him. In Iraq, Iranian-backed Shiite militia helped us to defend Baghdad from the southerly advance of ISIS, which had taken Mosul.

Who wants us to plunge back into the Middle East, to fight a new and wider war than the ones we fought already this century in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen?

Answer: Pompeo and Bolton, Bibi Netanyahu, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Sunni kings, princes, emirs, sultans and the other assorted Jeffersonian democrats on the south shore of the Persian Gulf.

And lest we forget, the never-Trumpers and neocons in exile nursing their bruised egos, whose idea of sweet revenge is a U.S. return to the Mideast in a war with Iran, which then brings an end to the Trump presidency.

See http://buchanan.org/blog/who-wants-this-war-with-iran-137040 (emphasis added); see also https://www.newsmax.com/patrickbuchanan/bolton-houthis-pompeo-yemen/2019/05/17/id/916481/ (“War With Iran Would End Trump Presidency“)

The answer to Pat Buchanan’s question, of course, is Israel—and its despicable shill in the White House, John Bolton.

As I have written:

The United States is becoming the largest energy producer in the world once again, and we do not need the Middle East—or Israel—for anything anymore. Also, an overwhelming number of Americans elected Donald Trump to keep us out of foreign wars, not to embark on new ones. His most loyal supporters may desert him in next year’s election (or stay home and refuse to vote) if he embarks on the despicable Bolton’s Folly: another tragic Middle East proxy war for Israel.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/the-state-of-our-union-2019/#comment-17209 (“Warmonger: Enemy Of The American People“); see also https://www.timesofisrael.com/zionist-organization-of-america-gives-john-bolton-defender-of-israel-award/ (“Zionist Organization of America gives John Bolton ‘Defender of Israel’ award“) and https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/israels-inside-man-how-john-bolton-sabotaged-us-foreign-policy-israels-favour (“Israel’s inside man: How John Bolton sabotaged US foreign policy in Israel’s favour“) and https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/16/john-bolton-trump-iran-nuclear-deal-danger (“Is John Bolton the most dangerous man in the world?“) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/columnists/article-7045689/MICHAEL-BURLEIGH-Trumps-warmonger-chief-trying-drag-conflict-Iran.html (“How Trump’s warmonger in chief is trying to drag the US into conflict with Iran”—”It is time for Trump to . . . give warmongering Bolton the boot”) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7073157/After-sumo-golf-Trump-Abe-business.html (“‘We’re not looking for regime change’ in Iran Trump”)

John Bolton
[John Bolton]

4 06 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Does This Sicko Speak For President Trump And Americans? [UPDATED]

Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—has written:

For a president who won his office by denouncing the Middle East wars into which George W. Bush and Barack Obama plunged the nation, Donald Trump has assembled the most unabashedly hawkish conclave of foreign policy advisers in memory. And he himself seems to concede the point.

If foreign policy were decided by my security adviser John Bolton, the president confided recently, “We’d be in four wars by now.”

It was Bolton who ordered the Abraham Lincoln carrier group and B-52s to the Gulf and told the Pentagon to draw up plans to send 120,000 U.S. troops. It is Bolton who is charging Iran with using mines to sabotage four oil tankers outside the Strait of Hormuz.

Asked for evidence, Bolton barked back at reporters: “Who else would you think is doing it? Somebody from Nepal?”

But if Bolton is first hawk, he is not without rivals in the inner circle of the commander in chief.

At West Point last week, Vice President Mike Pence, after hailing the diversity of a class with the highest number of Hispanic and black women graduates ever, laid out what the future holds in store for them.

“You will fight on a battlefield for America … You will lead soldiers in combat. It will happen.

“Some of you will join the fight against radical Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq. Some of you will join the fight on the Korean Peninsula and in the Indo-Pacific, where North Korea continues to threaten the peace, and an increasingly militarized China challenges our presence.

“Some of you will join the fight in Europe, where an aggressive Russia seeks to redraw international boundaries by force. And some of you may even be called upon to serve in this hemisphere.

“And when that day comes, I know you will move to the sound of the guns … and you will fight, and you will win.

“Put your armor on,” Pence admonished the warriors, “so that when — not if — that day comes, you’ll be able to stand your ground.”

A question: Did not candidate Trump say he would be ending wars and bringing troops home, not plunging into new conflicts in the Mideast, Asia, Europe, the Western Hemisphere and “the Indo-Pacific”?

As for war in our hemisphere, which Pence said was possible, that could come sooner than the graduating cadets expect, if Trump’s confidant Sen. Lindsey Graham has his way.

All last week, Graham beat the drums for an ultimatum to Cuba to get any and all of its troops out of Venezuela. Should Havana refuse, said Graham, Trump ought to “do in Venezuela what Reagan did in Grenada.”

In 1983, Reagan ordered an invasion of Grenada to prevent U.S. medical students from being taken hostage by Marxist thugs who had just assassinated their leader and seized power.

But Grenada is a tiny island roughly twice the size of Washington, D.C., with a population of 100,000, while Venezuela is the size of Texas, with 30 million people and an army of more soldiers than Grenada has citizens.

“I would let the Venezuelan military know, you’ve got to choose between democracy and Maduro,” thundered Graham. “And if you choose Maduro and Cuba, we’re coming after you. This is our backyard.”

Trump may have run as anti-interventionist, but his secretary of state was apparently not closely following his campaign.

Speaking at the West Coast neocon lamasery Claremont Institute last week, Secretary Mike Pompeo said the Founding Fathers “knew peace wasn’t the norm” and “conflict is the normative experience for nations.”

He ripped into the Russians.

Thirty years after the Cold War, said Pompeo, “The Putin regime slays dissidents in cold blood and invades its neighbors,” and, along with China, conducts a foreign policy “intent on eroding American power.”

“We Americans have had too little courage to confront regimes squarely opposed to our interests and our values.”

As for “America First!” Pompeo explained Trump’s signature phrase thus:

The president “believes America is exceptional — a place and history apart from normal human experience.” This recalls Madeline Albright’s famous formulation: “We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall and we see further … into the future.”

President George Washington would approve of our policies, said Pompeo. Though the Father of our Country may have warned in his Farewell Address against “permanent alliances,” we are “banding together with the like-minded nations like Australia, India, Japan and South Korea to make sure that each Indo-Pacific nation can protect its sovereignty from coercion.”

“American exceptionalism … will remain alive and well in the 21st century,” concluded Pompeo. “What’s good for the United States is good for the world.”

One wonders: Do the hawks in his inner councils speak for Trump? For they surely do not speak for a nation whose weariness with wars put him into the White House.

On the first day of Trump’s visit to London, Pompeo, who last year issued his 12 demands on Iran, was quoted as saying the U.S. is now prepared to negotiate with Tehran with “no preconditions.”

For now, Trump’s hawks appeared contained. But for how long?

See http://buchanan.org/blog/do-trumps-hawks-speak-for-trump-137106 (“Do Trump’s Hawks Speak for Trump?“) (emphasis added); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/the-state-of-our-union-2019/#comment-17261 (“Who Wants This War With Iran?“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/the-state-of-our-union-2019/#comment-17209 (“Warmonger: Enemy Of The American People“) and https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-a-blow-to-maduro-russia-withdraws-key-defense-support-to-venezuela-11559486826 (“In a Blow to Maduro, Russia Withdraws Key Defense Support to Venezuela“)

. . .

Finally, the warmonger and Israeli shill, Bolton, is gone—none too soon.

See https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/sep/10/john-bolton-out-national-security-adviser-trump-tw/ (“John Bolton out as national security adviser, Trump tweets services no longer ‘needed'”); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/the-state-of-our-union-2019/#comment-18141 (“The Middle East Is Not America’s Fight“)

10 06 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

America’s Global Might [UPDATED]

An editorial of the UK’s Economist states:

When Donald Trump arrived in the Oval Office he promised to restore America’s might. His method has turned out to be a wholesale weaponisation of economic tools. The world can now see the awesome force that a superpower can project when it is unconstrained by rules or allies. On May 30th the president threatened crippling tariffs on Mexico after a row over migration. Markets reeled, and a Mexican delegation rushed to Washington to sue for peace. A day later preferential trading rules for India were cancelled. Its usually macho government did not put up a fight and promised to preserve “strong ties”. China faces a ratcheting up of tariffs soon, and its tech giant, Huawei, has been severed from its American suppliers. The country’s autocratic leaders are enraged, but on June 2nd they insisted they still seek “dialogue and consultation”. A tighter embargo on Iran, imposed over European objections, is strangling its economy.

President Trump must view this scene with satisfaction. Nobody takes America for granted any more. Enemies and friends know that it is prepared to unleash an economic arsenal to protect its national interest. America is deploying new tactics—poker-style brinkmanship—and new weapons that exploit its role as the nerve centre of the global economy to block the free flow of goods, data, ideas and money across borders. This pumped-up vision of a 21st-century superpower may be seductive for some. But it could spark a crisis, and it is eroding America’s most valuable asset—its legitimacy.

You might think that America’s clout comes from its 11 aircraft-carriers, 6,500 nuclear warheads or its anchor role in the [IMF]. But it is also the central node in the network that underpins globalisation. This mesh of firms, ideas and standards reflects and magnifies American prowess. Though it includes goods traded through supply chains, it is mainly intangible. America controls or hosts over 50% of the world’s cross-border bandwidth, venture capital, phone-operating systems, top universities and fund-management assets. Some 88% of currency trades use greenbacks. Across the planet it is normal to use a Visa card, invoice exports in dollars, sleep beside a device with a Qualcomm chip, watch Netflix and work for a firm that BlackRock invests in.

Foreigners accept all this because, on balance, it makes them better off. They may not set the rules of the game, but they get access to American markets and fair treatment alongside American firms. Globalisation and technology have made the network more powerful although America’s share of world gdp has fallen, from 38% in 1969 to 24% now. China cannot yet compete, even though its economy is approaching America’s in size.

Despite this, Mr Trump and his advisers are convinced that the world order is rigged against America, pointing to its rust-belt and its trade deficit. And rather than mimic the relatively restrained tactics of the last trade conflict, with Japan in the 1980s, they have redefined how economic nationalism works.

First, instead of using tariffs as a tool to extract specific economic concessions, they are being continuously deployed to create a climate of instability with America’s trading partners. The objective of the new Mexican tariffs—fewer migrants crossing the Rio Grande—has nothing to do with trade. And they breach the spirit of [USMCA], a free-trade deal signed by the White House only six months ago, which will replace [NAFTA] (Congress has yet to ratify it). Alongside these big fights is a constant barrage of petty activity. Officials have skirmished over foreign washing machines and Canadian softwood lumber imports.

Second, the scope of activity has been extended beyond physical goods by weaponising America’s network. Outright enemies such as Iran and Venezuela face tighter sanctions—last year 1,500 people, firms and vessels were added to the list, a record figure. The rest of the world faces a new regime for tech and finance. An executive order prohibits transactions in semiconductors and software made by foreign adversaries, and a law passed last year known as [FIRRMA] polices foreign investment into Silicon Valley. If a firm is blacklisted, banks usually refuse to deal with it, cutting it off from the dollar payments system. That is crippling—as two firms, zte and Rusal, discovered, briefly, last year.

Such tools used to be reserved for times of war: the legal techniques used for surveillance of the payments system were developed to hunt al-Qaeda. Now a “national emergency” has been declared in tech. Officials have discretion to define what is a threat. Though they often clobber specific firms, such as Huawei, others are running scared. . . . If you run a global company, are you sure your Chinese clients are not about to be blacklisted?

The damage to America’s economy so far has been deceptively small. Tariffs cause agony in export hubs such as northern Mexico, but even if Mr Trump imposes all his threatened tariffs, the tax on imports would be worth only about 1% of America’s gdp. His poll ratings at home have held up, even as they have slumped abroad. His officials believe the experiment in weaponising America’s economic network has only just begun.

In fact, the bill is mounting. America could have built a global coalition to press China to reform its economy, but it has now squandered precious goodwill. Allies looking for new trade deals with America, including post-Brexit Britain, will worry that a presidential tweet could scupper it after it has been signed. Retaliation in kind has begun. China has begun its own blacklist of foreign firms. And the risk of a clumsy mistake that triggers a financial panic is high. Imagine if America banned the $1trn of Chinese shares trading in New York, or cut off foreign banks.

In the long run the American-led network is under threat. There are hints of mutiny—of America’s 35 European and Asian military allies, only three have so far agreed to ban Huawei. Efforts to build a rival global infrastructure will accelerate. China is creating its own courts to adjudicate commercial disputes with foreigners. . . . Europe is experimenting with building a new payments system to get round the Iran sanctions, which could in time be used elsewhere. China, and eventually India, will be keen to end their dependence on semiconductors from Silicon Valley. Mr Trump is right that America’s network gives it vast power. It will take decades, and cost a fortune, to replace it. But if you abuse it, ultimately you will lose it.

See https://www.economist.com/leaders/2019/06/06/america-is-deploying-a-new-economic-arsenal-to-assert-its-power (“America is deploying a new economic arsenal to assert its power“) (emphasis added); see also https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7121879/Emanuel-Macron-warns-Boris-Johnson-39bn.html (“Emmanuel Macron warns Boris Johnson that his plan to withhold £39bn Brexit divorce payment would be a sovereign debt default with DIRE consequences for UK economy“)

The conclusions of this editorial reflect defeatist and cowardly attitudes in the UK, which have blocked Brexit and would have lost World War II if the United States had not saved the Brits, French and others. Indeed, they would be speaking German today, instead of merely being controlled by Germany through the EU and euro.

Our adversaries have only seen a small portion of America’s vast economic might. For example, by denying use of the SWIFT payments system to Russia, we can bring the pygmy economy (smaller than Italy or Brazil) to its knees. Also, as the United States regains its dominant position in the world’s energy markets, Russia loses. And China’s economy is not in great shape today either.

Like Abraham Lincoln before him, Donald Trump is asserting America’s preeminence and dominance, unapologetically. And yes, the United States is at war, albeit it is not a shooting war at this time.

Lincoln and Trump

11 06 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

With Most States Under One Party’s Control, America Grows More Divided


[Donald Trump’s America]

This is the title of an article by Timothy Williams in The New York Times:

When J.B. Pritzker took over as the governor of Illinois this year, Democratic lawmakers, who had spent four years at an impasse with his Republican predecessor, vowed that their party’s new grip on the State Capitol would bring immediate change.

The pace has been startling. In recent months, Illinois legislators have moved sharply to the left, deeming abortion a fundamental right for women no matter what the Supreme Court might decide, raising the minimum wage, taking steps to legalize recreational marijuana and introducing a graduated income tax.

Some 700 miles to the south, the Alabama State Capitol, dominated by Republicans, has raced in the opposite direction.

Alabama lawmakers voted during this term to ban most abortions. They eliminated marriage licenses, so that probate judges opposed to same-sex marriage would not have to sign marriage certificates. And they approved requiring sex offenders who commit crimes involving children to undergo chemical castration at their own expense.

Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama, a fellow Republican, earlier signed the abortion and marriage license bills, and on Monday her office announced that she had signed the castration legislation.

It is the first time in more than a century that all but one state legislature is dominated by a single party. Most legislative sessions have ended or are scheduled to end in a matter of days in capitals across the nation, and Republican-held states have rushed forward with conservative agendas as those controlled by Democrats have pushed through liberal ones.

Any hope that single-party control in the states might ease the tone of political discourse has not borne out. Lopsided party dominance has not brought resignation; instead of minority parties conceding that they lack the numbers to effectively fight back, the mood has grown more tense and vitriolic.

“The whole nation is speaking about how divisive we are,” Thomas Jackson, a Democrat in the Alabama House of Representatives, told colleagues during a contentious meeting last month.

In Oregon, where Democrats control state government, Republicans boycotted sessions for several days over disagreements about taxes and gun control. In Tennessee, where Republicans are in charge, Democrats staged a walkout during a heated and chaotic budget debate, and Republicans ordered the police to go find them.

And in Colorado, where Democrats dominate in the capital, Republicans were so upset about the stream of new laws being passed that they demanded each bill be read aloud to slow the pace. Democrats responded by having five computers simultaneously “read” bills. The computers were able to whip through hundreds of pages in minutes, but the result was gibberish.

Colorado Republicans promptly sued. They won in court, but Democrats went on — at a moderated pace — to pass legislation that many Republicans opposed, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, banning gay conversion therapy for minors and creating a reinsurance program to lower health care costs.

This year was always poised to be contentious in statehouses. Across the nation, nearly 1,700 new lawmakers won seats in last fall’s elections. The vast majority of the newcomers were Democrats, who won control of six new legislative chambers, meaning that they now dominate both chambers in 18 states. But Republicans continue to control the majority of state legislatures, with 29.

Analysts said that issues addressed by state legislatures this year, which included gun control, health care, education and police procedures, might have more immediate, lasting effect than anything approved in Washington, D.C., where government is divided.

The roots of the polarization in state legislatures can be traced to elections in 2010, when Republicans made decisive gains in statehouses and pressed for policies that included restricting labor unions and abortion access, while expanding gun rights, according to Sarah F. Anzia, a political scientist at the University of California, Berkeley.

Around the same time, Dr. Anzia said, national organizations representing interest groups ranging from teachers to gun owners became more active in state capitals, because they found it far easier to make headway in places like Sacramento and Charleston, W.Va., than in Washington because of gridlock in Congress.

The number of states with either supermajorities of Democrats that also have Democratic governors (California, Nevada and Oregon, among others) or Republicans with Republican governors (Alabama, Ohio and Tennessee, among others) has grown, too, meaning that many lawmakers rarely feel the need to compromise.

“If you are a Republican in one state, you are probably going to be pushing the same agenda as a Republican in another state, and the same is true for Democrats,” said Dr. Anzia. “That hasn’t always been true, and the result is that now more than ever, state legislatures are key players in these partisan battles over politics.”

In Minnesota, the only state left with a divided legislature, promises of bipartisanship sometimes devolved into stalemate.

During a budget standoff last month, Tim Walz, the Democratic governor who campaigned last year on a pledge to work across the aisle, angrily denounced Republicans for blocking gun control efforts and supporting deep tax cuts, saying those policies “fit better in Mississippi and Alabama than they do in Minnesota.”

Ultimately, Democrats could win neither new gun laws nor new tax increases, and Republicans also failed to win approval for the bulk of their agenda.

Still, once the session ended last month, Governor Walz said that “Minnesota is showing the rest of the nation that Republicans and Democrats can still find compromise and work together to get things done,” citing spending increases for public education and efforts to fight opioid addiction.

Alabama and Illinois — one overwhelmingly red, the other blue — were more representative of this year’s tone, providing perhaps the best examples of political parties moving to enact utterly different agendas.

After Alabama effectively banned abortion last month, female lawmakers in Illinois responded almost immediately, pressing through a bill expanding abortion rights in their state. (Abortion rights groups have sued to stop the Alabama law from taking effect.) And while Illinois voted to allow sports betting and to legalize recreational marijuana, Alabama failed to approve either a state lottery or medical marijuana.

It was Alabama’s abortion measure, the strictest in the nation, that sparked the most contentious debate of any legislation this session.

During debates in the Legislature, Rolanda Hollis, a Democratic member of the House of Representatives, read a poem to colleagues called “If My Vagina Was a Gun” that she said illustrated Alabama’s consistent protection of Second Amendment rights but not abortion rights.

Bobby Singleton, a Senate Democrat, told his Republican colleagues that they had “aborted” and “raped” Alabama by supporting the legislation, which was approved generally along party lines.

Terry Lathan, the chair of the Alabama Republican Party, downplayed the uproar over the abortion bill, saying she had seen worse — including when a Republican senator punched a Democratic colleague on the Senate floor in 2007.

“This is the political arena,” she said. “Everyone needs to put on their big girl and boy pants. I mean, come on!”

In Illinois, Republicans were in much the same position as Democrats in Alabama: Outnumbered and outflanked. And like Alabama Democrats, Illinois Republicans lost nearly every vote of significance.

In addition to voting to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2025, the state legislature became the first in the nation to pass a bill legalizing both the sale and possession of marijuana. (In other states, voters have approved such laws through ballot initiatives.)

Dale Righter, a Republican in the Illinois Senate, said that without power, Republicans’ hopes relied on conservative Democratic voters deciding that their lawmakers had gone too far.

“I have no doubt that there are Democratic voters saying, ‘Hey, this isn’t what I signed up for,’” he said.

See https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/us/state-legislatures-partisan-polarized.html (emphasis added)

16 06 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Another Warmonger, Tom Cotton Of Arkansas, Advocates Attack On Iran

null
[John Bolton and Tom Cotton]

The last thing that Americans need is another tragic war in the Middle East, brought to us by Israel’s shills who gave us the Iraq War in which more than 5,000 Americans died and countless more were maimed, while trillions of dollars were wasted . . . for nothing.

Cathy Burke has reported for Newsmax.com:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday it’s “unmistakable” that Iran was behind the attacks on two commercial tankers in the Strait of Hormuz.

U.S.-Iran tensions are high following accusations by the administration of President Donald Trump that Tehran carried out attacks last Thursday on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, a vital oil shipping route. Iran has denied having any role.

In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Pompeo said the nation has “high confidence” in placing the blame on the Islamic Republic, but added that President Trump doesn’t “want a war.”

“It is unmistakable what happened here,” he said. “These were attacks by the Islamic Republic of Iran on commercial shipping on the freedom of navigation with the clear intent to deny transit through the Strait.”

“The American people should rest assured we have high confidence with respect to who conducted these attacks, as well as half a dozen other attacks throughout the world over the past 40 days,” he added.

He said the Trump administration doesn’t want war with Iran, but will “take actions that deter Iran.”

“We don’t want a war. We’ve done what we can to deter this,” he said. “The Iranians should understand very clearly that we will continue to take actions that deter Iran from engaging in this behind some kind of behavior.”

Pompeo said he did not want to discuss possible next steps the United State might take in response to last week’s developments.

“The intelligence community has lots of data, lots of evidence. The world will come to see much of it,” said Pompeo, who headed the Central Intelligence Agency before becoming secretary of state.

“Iran will not get a nuke weapon. That’s the goal,” he said when asked about the possibility of Trump sending more American troops and military hardware to the region.

“I made a number of calls to colleagues around the world yesterday. I am confident that we will have partners that understand this threat,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo also pushed back on the controversy over Trump’s remarks about not spying on North Korea — and took a swipe at the Obama administration for not doing enough to stop foreign interference in U.S. elections.

“We are taking all the efforts necessary to make sure we know what’s going on all around the world. That includes every country,” he declared.

“President Trump has been crystal clear during my now two and a half years with the administration, we are going to do everything we can prevent any country from interfering in any election in the United States,” he said. “America will continue to work out of that, I’m proud of the work this administration does, I only wish the previous administration had done the same.”

Also Pompeo dismissed the controversy over Trump’s remarks on being open to “dirt” from foreign nations as a “Washington piece of silliness,” insisting Trump “believes that too” that foreign inference in our elections is unacceptable.

The U.S. has released video of what it says was an Iranian boat approaching one of the tankers at night to remove an unexploded limpet mine and other evidence that it says point to Iran’s responsibility for the attacks.

“Iran did do it and you know they did it,” Trump said Friday during a phone interview with Fox News.

Iran has denied any wrongdoing. The country’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, on Friday suggested in a series of tweets that Iran’s enemies may have been behind the attacks, accusing the Trump administration of “economic terrorism’’ and blaming it for the “renewed tension in our region.”

There’s no question Iran was behind the attacks, and it was a “Class A screw-up,” Democratic Representative Adam Schiff of California, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” But the problem is the U.S. is struggling to persuade its allies to join in a response, he said.

“It shows just how isolated the United States has become,’’ Schiff said.

Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas advocated an attack, saying on CBS that “these unprovoked attacks on commercial shipping warrant a retaliatory military strike.’’ Schiff noted that Trump has said he doesn’t want war with Iran, but that his advisers “seem to be taking actions to undercut that ambition to stay out of warfare.’’

Schiff said Trump’s pressure campaign on Iran after withdrawing from the nuclear accord was “dangerously naïve” and that the attacks on shipping were “eminently foreseeable.”

On other matters, the secretary of state also said on Fox that Trump’s decision to push ahead with $8 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia, defying congressional opposition, “made enormous sense.”

Pompeo said he also expects Trump will talk about human rights and Hong Kong if he meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 leaders’ meeting June 28-29 in Osaka, Japan. Almost 2 million protesters marched through Hong Kong Sunday a day, according to organizers, after leader Carrie Lam suspended — but didn’t withdraw — a controversial extradition bill.

See https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/pompeo-iran-attacks/2019/06/16/id/920577/ (“Pompeo: ‘Unmistakable’ That Iran Behind Tanker Attacks“) (emphasis added); see also https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/tom-cotton-perpetual-warmonger/ (“Tom Cotton, Perpetual Warmonger“) and https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2017/11/30/tom-cotton-most-likely-to-start-world-war-iii (“Tom Cotton: ‘Most likely to start World War III’”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/the-state-of-our-union-2019/#comment-17512 (“Does This Sicko Speak For President Trump And Americans?“)

Whatever presidential ambitions that Cotton ever had just died with his advocacy of war against Iran—as another pitiful shill for Israel.

20 06 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Texafornia: America’s Future? [UPDATED]

Texafornia

An editorial of the UK’s Economist observes:

In the cable-news version of America, the president sits in the White House issuing commands that transform the nation. Life is not like that. In the real version of America many of the biggest political choices are made not in Washington but by the states—and by two of them in particular.

Texas and California are the biggest, brashest, most important states in the union, each equally convinced that it is the future (see our Special report in this issue). For the past few decades they have been heading in opposite directions, creating an experiment that reveals whether America works better as a low-tax, low-regulation place in which government makes little provision for its citizens (Texas), or as a high-tax, highly regulated one in which it is the government’s role to tackle problems, such as climate change, that might ordinarily be considered the job of the federal government (California). Given the long-running political dysfunction in Washington, the results will determine what sort of country America becomes almost as much as the victor of the next presidential election will.

That is partly a function of size. One in five Americans calls Texas or California home. By 2050 one in four will. Over the past 20 years the two states have created a third of new jobs in America. Their economic heft rivals whole countries’. Were they nations, Texas would be the tenth-largest, ahead of Canada by gdp. California would be fifth, right behind Germany.

Texas and California are also already living America’s demographic future. Hispanics are around 40% of the two states’ populations, double the national average. Both states were early to become majority-minority. In California non-whites have outnumbered whites since 2000, and in Texas since 2005. The rest of the country is not expected to reach this threshold until the middle of the century. California and Texas educate nearly a quarter of American children, many of them poor and non-native English-speakers. Their proximity to Mexico, a country that both used to be a part of, means that as Washington procrastinates on updating America’s immigration laws they must live with the consequences.

At first glance the two states seem as different as a quinoa burger and beef brisket. California is a one-party state in which elected Republicans may soon need the kind of protection afforded to the bighorn sheep. In Texas Republicans dominate the state legislature and all the statewide executive offices: no Democrat has won a statewide race there for more than 20 years. The last Democratic presidential candidate to do so was elected over 40 years ago. Texas has no state income tax. California’s state income tax has a top rate of 13%, the highest in the union. Texas has loose environmental regulations. California is trying to use its economic might to force the rest of the country to adopt more stringent standards on carbon-dioxide emissions. Texas lets its cities sprawl; California has restrictive planning laws.

Take a closer look, though, and Texas looks more like a teenage California. The population of Texas has only recently reached the level California was at in the late 1980s. The Golden State was once a pro-sprawl, low-tax, Republican state, too. Republicans in Austin, who are feeling the first signs of political competition from Democrats in decades, have begun to focus their attention on the state’s shortcomings such as education.

That matters because Texas’s schools, like California’s, perform poorly and its universities are nowhere near as good. In the Texas legislative session which ended last month, politicians focused less on abortion and bathrooms for transgender people, and instead increased funding for public schools. If more Texans managed to vote, they might encourage politicians to do something about the state’s skimpy health-care provision, too.

This might suggest that, as Texas grows up, it will become more Californian. But, ideally, only to a degree—because California has not aged gracefully. It loses Americans each year while Texas gains them. Though the state government has made huge strides—a decade ago it was broke, now it has a healthy surplus and an overflowing rainy-day fund—the state has daunting social problems. Homelessness is just the most visible of them. Unemployment is persistently higher and incomes are more unequal in California than in the land of the ten-gallon hat.

California thinks of itself as a progressive bastion, but it has the highest poverty rate of any state in America. That is partly because regulation makes it so hard to build new homes, pushing housing costs up. It will take more than Google investing $1bn in Bay Area housing to fix that. Texas, meanwhile, lets its cities march outwards as far as they wish. In this limited respect at least, Texas is the more liberal state and California the more conservative one. Americans wanting to move to where housing is cheap, taxes low and work plentiful are voting with their U-Haul trucks and heading to Texas. Just now, Texas has more room than California to innovate and to strike a balance between small government and social support.

In America’s federal system no single state is a national template, and yet each holds lessons for all the others. As America’s largest oil producer, Texas is exceptional. By contrast, despite its faults, California remains a magnet for highly educated migrants and a formidable factory of talent and ideas—which is why it has produced Google, Facebook, Tesla, Uber and Netflix and why, despite grumblings about creeping socialism, the big venture-capital firms and Hollywood studios stay.

America can learn from both of them. That is especially true when the federal government cannot legislate—which today means most of the time—because the ability of states to decide their own fate becomes correspondingly more important.

It is possible to imagine a mash-up of the two mega-states that takes the best of both: a freedom-loving wish to keep government out of people’s private lives, a place that is friendly to business and provides opportunities for people, while also protecting the environment and funding education. California could steal Texas’s expansive approach to housebuilding; Texas could imitate California’s investment in outstanding universities. Americans elsewhere might be less alarmed by demographic change if they visited great cities like Houston, la and Dallas. Call this imagined place Texafornia.

See https://www.economist.com/leaders/2019/06/20/texafornia-dreaming (“Texafornia dreaming“) (emphasis added); see also https://www.texastribune.org/2019/06/20/texas-hispanic-population-pace-surpass-white-residents/ (“Texas’ Hispanic population is on pace to surpass white residents”)

This editorial sets forth a British perspective, which is distorted at best. After all, there is still a monarchy in the UK, which is a colossal anachronism unto itself.

The British people voted for Brexit—a withdrawal from the draconian EU—and their politicians have screwed it up to a fare-thee-well. The UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May is gone because of it; and one wonders whether the UK’s political system is worse than that in America today. Presumably they are neck and neck, reaching new bottoms with each day that passes.

Politically, California is a complete basket case. Its new governor Gavin Newsom is a looney; its U.S. Senator Kamala Harris was former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown’s ho; Congressperson Maxine Waters is an unrepentant racist; another Congressperson Adam Schiff, Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, is a looney too; homelessness, filth and diseases are rampant in its two largest cities, San Francisco and Los Angeles; and the eco-Nazis seem to govern the state. Businesses and Californians are leaving in droves; and the state’s only “salvations” are its wonderful climate and unsurpassed natural beauty.

See https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/10/americas-top-states-for-business-2019.html (“America’s Top States for Business 2019: The full list”—California is dead last out of 50 states, in terms of the ‘cost of doing business'”); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/06/18/the-u-s-supreme-court-is-a-tragic-pathetic-joke/ (“The U.S. Supreme Court Is A Tragic, Pathetic Joke“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/a-34-trillion-swindle-the-shame-of-global-warming/ (“A $34 Trillion Swindle: The Shame Of Global Warming“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/abortions-and-autos-kill-more-in-america-than-guns/#comment-16844 (“Tesla On The Brink Of Failure“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/06/18/the-u-s-supreme-court-is-a-tragic-pathetic-joke/#comment-17720

Clearly, New Yorkers and other Americans would take umbrage with the assertion that “Texas and California are the . . . most important states in the union.”

Lastly, we have a federal system, in which the states are subservient to the federal government. That is a fact of life.

18 07 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

The Middle East Is Not America’s Fight [UPDATED]

John Bolton enemy

The United States is essentially oil and energy independent, and we do not need the Middle East for anything anymore. Indeed, it is absurd that we are defending the shipping lanes of the region, or threatening Iran.

Yes, the regime in Tehran is evil, but it is up to the Iranian people to replace it—NOT the United States or the American people. After all, Israel and its neocon shills pushed us into the Iraq War, in which more than 5,000 Americans died and many more were maimed, and trillions of dollars were wasted, for nothing.

NEVER AGAIN, even if Israel’s existence is at stake.

The Middle East is not America’s fight. We are not the policemen or protectors of the world. If the shipping lanes of the Middle East are being threatened, it is up to those countries that are affected to protect them. NOT US.

The idea of having U.S. carrier task forces in the Middle East, or American troops, or our fighter jets, is absurd. It is simply a provocative recipe for disaster, and something that is being promoted by the likes of Israel’s pathetic, un-American shills in Washington—such as John Bolton who should be jettisoned from the Trump Administration immediately.

See https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7260923/US-general-says-work-aggressively-enable-free-passage-Gulf.html (“Trump will send 500 troops and F-22 stealth fighter jets to Saudi Arabia to counter Iran“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/the-state-of-our-union-2019/#comment-17694 (“Another Warmonger, Tom Cotton Of Arkansas, Advocates Attack On Iran“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/the-state-of-our-union-2019/#comment-17512 (“Does This Sicko Speak For President Trump And Americans?“)

Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—has written an article entitled “Is a New US Mideast War Inevitable?”:

In October 1950, as U.S. forces were reeling from hordes of Chinese troops who had intervened massively in the Korean War, a 5,000-man Turkish brigade arrived to halt an onslaught by six Chinese divisions.

Said supreme commander Gen. Douglas MacArthur: “The Turks are the hero of heroes. There is no impossibility for the Turkish Brigade.”

President Harry Truman awarded the brigade a Presidential Unit Citation.

In 1951, Turkey ended a neutrality dating to the end of World War I and joined NATO. In the seven decades since, there has been no graver crisis in U.S.-Turkish relations than the one that erupted this week.

Turkey has just received the first components of a Russian S-400 air and missile defense system, despite U.S. warnings this would require the cancellation of Turkey’s purchase of 100 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

“The F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities,” said the White House.

The sale has been canceled. The Turkish pilots and instructors training in the U.S. are being sent home. Contracts with Turkish companies producing parts for the F-35 are being terminated. Under U.S. law, the administration is also required to impose sanctions on Turkey for buying Russian weaponry.

Wednesday, the Pentagon warned Turkey against military action in an area of Syria where U.S. troops are deployed. The Turks appear to be massing for an incursion against U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces Ankara regards as terrorist allies of the Kurdish PKK inside Turkey.

How America and Turkey avoid a collision that could wreck NATO, where the Turks field the second-largest army in the alliance, is not easy to see.

U.S. hawks are already calling for the expulsion of Turkey from NATO. And expulsion of U.S. forces and nuclear weapons from the Incirlik air base in Turkey in retaliation is not out of the question.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sounds defiant: “We have begun to receive our S-400s. … God willing, they will have been installed in their sites by April 2020. … The S-400s are the strongest defense system against those who want to attack our country. Now the aim is joint production with Russia. We will do that.”

While potentially the most crucial of recent developments in the Middle East, the U.S.-Turkish situation is not the only one.

The UAE is pulling its forces out of Yemen as Congress seeks to restrict U.S. support for Saudi forces fighting Houthi rebels there and to sanction Riyadh for the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

If the UAE pulls out, and the U.S. cuts its military aid, the Saudis cannot prevail in a war they have been unable to win with our help after four years of fighting. And if the Houthis win, the Saudis and Sunni Arabs lose, and Iran wins.

This week, to strengthen the U.S. presence for any confrontation with Iran, President Donald Trump is sending 500 additional U.S. troops to Saudi Arabia.

While the U.S. and Iran have thus far avoided a military or naval clash that could ignite a major war, the “maximum pressure” sanctions Trump has imposed are choking Iran’s economy to death. How this ends in a negotiated resolution and not a shooting war remains difficult to see.

In Doha, Qatar, the U.S. is negotiating with the Taliban over the conditions for a withdrawal of the 14,000 U.S. troops still in Afghanistan. And with the Taliban controlling more of the countryside than they have since being ousted from power in 2001, and conducting regular suicide bombings in Afghan cities and towns, it is hard to see how this Kabul regime and its army prevail in a civil war when we are gone, when they could not while we were there.

In this new century, leaders of both parties have plunged our country into at least five wars in the Middle and Near East.

In 2001, after ousting the Taliban and driving al-Qaida out, we decided to use our power and ideas to build a new democratic Afghanistan. In 2003, we invaded and occupied Iraq to create a pro-Western bastion in the heart of the Middle East.

In 2011, Barack Obama ordered U.S. planes to attack Colonel Gadhafi’s forces in Libya. We brought him down. Obama then backed Syrian rebels to overthrow the dictator Bashar Assad. In 2015, U.S. forces supported a Saudi war to roll back the Houthi rebels’ victory in Yemen’s civil war.

None of these wars has produced a victory or success for us.

But taken together, they did produce a multitrillion-dollar strategic and human rights disaster. Meanwhile, China gained much from having its great rival, the world’s last superpower, thrashing about ineffectually in the forever wars of the Middle East.

“Great nations do not fight endless wars,” said Trump.

Yes, they do. As the British, French, Germans, Japanese and Russians showed in the last century, that is how they cease to be great nations.

See https://buchanan.org/blog/is-a-new-us-mideast-war-inevitable-137324 (emphasis added); see also https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7271855/Britain-mourns-Royal-Navy-took-Falklands-Ex-admirals-join-growing-criticism-cuts.html (“Iran tanker seizure: Ex-admirals join criticism of Royal Navy cuts“) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7271655/Israeli-minister-boasts-country-one-thats-killing-Iranians.html (“Israeli minister boasts his country ‘is the only one that’s been killing Iranians'”)

Again, I repeat: The Middle East is not America’s fight. The United States is essentially oil and energy independent, and we do not need the Middle East for anything anymore.

. . .

Indeed, if the Middle East “blows up,” the United States may benefit immeasurably by tapping its vast energy resources and turning the “spigots” wide open, and shipping oil and other energy products to Europe, China and elsewhere.

Bald Eagle and American flag

12 09 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Echoes Of The Despicable John Bolton

Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—has written:

The sudden and bitter departure of John Bolton from the White House was baked in the cake from the day he arrived there.

For Bolton’s worldview, formed and fixed in a Cold War that ended in 1991, was irreconcilable with the policies Donald Trump promised in his 2016 campaign. Indeed, Trump was elected because he offered a foreign policy that represented a repudiation of what John Bolton had advocated since the end of the Cold War.

Trump wanted to call off Cold War II with Russia, to engage with Vladimir Putin, and to extricate us from the Middle East wars into which Bolton and the neocons did so much to plunge the United States.

Where Trump demanded that NATO nations and allies like South Korea and Japan start paying the cost of their own defense, Bolton is an empire man who relishes the global role and responsibilities of America as the last superpower and custodian of the New World Order.

Trump saw in the hermit kingdom of North Korea an opportunity to end its isolation and bring Kim Jong Un into talks to persuade him to give up his nuclear weapons, in return for a full readmission and welcome into the world that Pyongyang turned its back on after World War II.

In Trump’s passive acceptance of Kim’s resumption of short-range missile tests last August, Bolton surely saw signs of appeasement.

To Bolton, Trump’s trashing of Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal was the first step toward a confrontation and clash to smash the Tehran regime. To Trump, it was a first step to a Trump-negotiated better bargain with Iran.

Bolton’s hawkish stance of confrontation, and conflict if necessary to impose our will, from the Eastern Baltic, to Ukraine and the Black Sea, to the Middle East, Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, the Korean Peninsula, today finds almost no broad support among the American electorate.

It is only among foreign policy elites in Beltway think tanks, the generals who ran the national security state, liberal interventionists in the media and the hierarchy of the GOP that we find echoes of Bolton.

The rest of the country has moved on. They want an end to the endless wars and to put America first again.

In the Democratic debates, climate change — the melting ice caps of the Arctic and Greenland — represents the real “existential threat.”

Only Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has made foreign policy her focus. But she is the antithesis of Bolton, an anti-interventionist who wants to end the wars and bring the troops home.

Yet, after Bolton’s departure, Trump’s problem is this: What he promised in 2016 he has been unable to deliver.

Rather than summits with Putin, the U.S. and NATO under Trump have sent additional forces to the eastern Baltic. We have let the U.S.-Russian strategic arms agreements lapse. We have sent lethal military aid to Ukraine to fight pro-Russian rebels in the Donbass.

Bibi Netanyahu, not Trump, holds the meetings with the Russian president, is in Moscow again this week, and has plastered a huge poster of himself and Putin at his Likud Party’s headquarters in Tel Aviv.

We blacklist Putin, while Bibi relies on Vlad to help bring home the Russian-Jewish vote in Israel’s election next week.

We still have troops in Syria and Iraq and are closer to war with Iran than the day Trump took office. Such a war would become the defining event of Trump’s presidency and leave this country tied down in virtual perpetuity in the Middle East.

Trump’s hopes for a negotiated withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by the end of his first term has been dealt a crippling blow with the cancellation of his Camp David summit with the Taliban.

Indeed, ex-Defense Secretary James Mattis threw cold water this week on the very idea of bringing our troops home. We must keep “boots on the ground” in Afghanistan, said Mattis, we cannot leave the Afghan forces alone to fight the terrorists and hold the country together:

“We’re going to have to stick with those countries that are not yet ready to do it on their own and keep … enough boots on the ground not to … turn the ground back over to the very enemy that attacked us before.”

What Mattis is saying is that Trump’s goal of extracting us from the “forever war” entails too great a risk, and U.S. troops in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan will have to soldier on, indefinitely.

North Korea continues to test missiles that may not be able to hit the U.S. homeland, but they could hit U.S. troops and bases in South Korea and Japan.

If, by 2020, Kim Jong Un still refuses to give up his nuclear weapons, Iran is back to enriching uranium, the Taliban atrocities continue unabated, and U.S. troops remain in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan in the same numbers they are today, what does Trump do? What does Trump say?

See https://buchanan.org/blog/after-bolton-trump-goals-remain-unrealized-137495 (“After Bolton, Trump Goals Remain Unrealized“); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/the-state-of-our-union-2019/#comment-17512 (“Does This Sicko Speak For President Trump And Americans?“)

Bolton was and is a despicable neocon shill for Israel. He should be investigated to determine what benefits he has received, directly or indirectly, from Israel since his career began . . . and indicted.

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