The Best Times, the Worst Times, and Riding the Powder Keg on November 3, 2017

The crackup is something to behold. Obama–and America’s exhaustion with Obamaism–left Democratic ranks devastated across the land. They’re just starting to grasp that grim state of affairs. But media and Democrat elites can’t come to process how anyone could be dissatisfied with the Great Smooth First, a really great phony in the incisive words of Thomas Sowell.
 
But they know something is amiss. Hillary was the last one steering the ship. She connected with normals about as well as a cold fish. The disaster must be her fault! The smaller fish are starting to nip and tear at her carcass while she’s still alive.
 

Socialist Bernie and Fauxcahontas the great redistributer and Kamala the California revolutionary are fighting for primacy in a party that wants to lead America hard left. But, Americans are so sick of being yanked left by the nose they are taking a whirl on the Trumpicopter. Establishment Rs and even Constitutional Rs are left dizzy on the ride, clinging by finger tips, not recognizing anything familiar or safe to aim for.

Meanwhile, technology and consumer toys proliferate like feral bunnies, even as people feel poorer and poorer. America reputedly has the most advanced medical care in the world, and a convoluted federal web that makes it unaffordable for millions.

 
The natives are restless and getting angrier at each other. The media becomes a parody of itself in its bid to regain stature or at least stay relevant. Progressive communists hope discontent yields fertile soil for people who like to burn streets and loot stores. Identity warriors living in the most civil-rights-fastidious society yet known to earth insist they are living a genocide, so they’re prepping for race war. Normals hope to find some kind of normalcy. Believers in the original Constitutional pattern hope Trump and Congress-even if just accidentally–can somehow slow the whirlwind enough for enterprise, institutions, and economic growth to restore some hope and attract more Americans to vote for limited government.
 
That last sounds like as much of a fantasy as the visions of the commies and the race warriors.
 
This is a Triple E ride for sure, destination unknown. 

Good News: Trump Making Stellar Judicial Nominations.

While detractors detract and defenders defend and a few intrepid souls try to call ‘em as they see ‘em, President Trump is keeping one campaign promise spectacularly: appointing highly qualified Constitutionalists to the federal bench. The libertarian publication Reason notes Trump’s nominees are getting excellent reviews from both conservative and libertarian scholars.
 
 
Case Western Reserve University’s Jonathon Adler, a noted libertarian law professor and active litigator for limited government, calls Trump’s early nominations “incredibly strong” and predicts they will have an intellectual impact on their respective appellate courts. Adler was quoted in a New York Times article that noted warily Trump was assembling his selections with the help of the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation.
 
Paul Mirengoff of the influential Power Line Blog comments that on judicial nominations, Trump keeps winning. Mirengoff cites the appointments of Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett, distinguished litigator James Ho, Kyle Duncan, and federal trial judge Kurt Engelhardt. Mirengoff pays particular notice to Engelhardt, who “wrote a scathing 129-page order denouncing the misconduct of lawyers at the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the local New Orleans U.S. Attorney’s Office in a prosecution of New Orleans police officers. As Christian Adams says, Judge Engelhardt’s order ‘offers a look behind the curtain of some of the worst ideological misconduct that occurred at the Obama DOJ.’”
 
Here in Colorado, respected Supreme Court Justice and law professor Allison Eid received Trump’s nod for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. She cleared the judiciary committee last week, and advances to the full Senate. Eid faced united but mostly ineffectual opposition from Democrats on the committee.
 
 
Trump’s string of excellent appointments is good news for a few reasons. First and foremost, it will increase the critical mass of Constitutionalists who eschew leftist policy making from the bench, but also protect against the government trampling important rights and liberties that are clearly identified in the Constitution.
 
Moreover, there was nothing in Trump’s background to inspire confidence he’d select judges of this bent and caliber. Many believed he was making meaningless promises to mollify conservatives that would be forgotten as soon as he took office. The Gorsuch nomination to the high court suggested otherwise. The roster of strong lower court nominations give further indication Trump meant it. That is good news for believers in limited government and independent checks and balances.
 

Beware, Republicans; Niger is Exactly Like Benghazi

Republicans dismiss at their peril the obvious strong parallels between Niger and Benghazi. From the buildup to the brutal events of that night to the aftermath and cover up, this truly if Trump;s Benghazi. Consider the record.
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Over the last year, there were hundreds of cables from AFRICOM to the Defense Department begging for better security installations for their one-night secret foray into a remote village in Niger. DoD denied every request. At the same time, it increased defense budget for grounds grooming at the Coast Guard Academy.
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Islamist militants had launched escalating attacks on other nation’s troops in the area. They withdrew, leaving only America to try to train the locals to resist being overrun.
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The ambush came after a meeting between US forces and village leaders. Troops were pinned down for 13 hours begging for help. While America’s security leaders watched grimly in the situation room, Trump and Tillerson withdrew to an undisclosed location to shoot pool. They were not seen until the next day. Trump made a brief statement and jetted off to a fundraiser at Mar a’Lago.
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The weekend after the ambush, Trump dispatched National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster to all the Sunday News shows to assure America and the world that the late night, well executed, heavily armed ambush was a spontaneous reaction to a really offensive, anti-African Facebook meme.
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As the fallen warriors returned through Dover, Secretary of State Tillerson stared into the eyes of the stricken families and solemnly assured, “We’re gonna get that bastard, the guy who posted that meme!”
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Not long after, white nationalist Jeffred J. Spoonwinder, the author and poster of the scurrilous meme, was arrested for being 11 months in arrears on child support. Federal agents and network cameras descended on the trailer of Mr. Spoonwinder, who was hustled out to waiting police vans wearing only a wife beater and confederate boxer shorts.
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The administration had its man.
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The similarities with Benghazi are massive and distressing. It is not possible that impeachment will be avoided. Any time a president is caught in such dereliction, obviously the media and the people will rise up in wrath and demand accountability.

Trump’s Executive Orders are a Strange Way To Exercise Tyranny.

Question: What do President Trump’s executive actions regarding Obamacare subsidies, DACA immigrants, the Paris Accords, and the Iran Deal have in common?

 

Answer: In each case, the president was restoring to Congress a legislative power that Barack Obama had unconstitutionally seized.

 

Trump haters on the right and on the left like to chortle that Trump criticized Obama for abusive executive orders, but now Trump is riding the same crooked horse. Ha ha! They sure nailed that hypocrite and his hypocritical supporters.

 

No, actually, they betrayed their ignorance of Constitutional structure and the meaning of separation of powers. As a general point, there is nothing per se good or bad about executive orders. It all depends whether the president is directing his branch within existing law, for example by prioritizing, or whether he is instead trying to direct his agencies in violation of law, for example by telling them to exercise authority not provided for in current statutes.
 
Executive orders that stay within the law are perfectly legitimate and simply represent the president directing his branch. Executive orders that transgress the law are unconstitutional and represent the president encroaching on the authority of Congress, or in some cases, the courts.
 
As a specific point, in each of the cited instances, Obama purported to order something that altered the law or America’s international obligations, and usurped the law-making power of Congress or treaty-ratifying power of the Senate. Accordingly, in each instance, when Trump issued an order to reverse Obama’s grab, he was retrenching presidential power back onto Constitutional ground, and restoring to Congress its Constitutional prerogatives.
 
As the Federalist’s David Harsanyi explains in this terrific article, not all executive orders are created equal. Most of Trump’s controversial orders have actually strengthened checks and balances and improved America’s Constitutional health. Which is exactly the opposite of what Trump’s permanent critics accuse him of doing. Please read it all.
 
 
 

Hillary’s Postmortem is Producing Autopsy Comic Gold

 The left-leaning Guardian newspaper has a story out titled “Why Hillary Clinton was right about white women – and their husbands.” The article cites a new study purporting to prove Clinton’s explanation for her shocking defeat was right on the money.
 

Recall that in an interview with NPR, Hillary blamed her lackluster support from women voters on the little ladies being under intense pressure from their fathers, husbands, boyfriends, and bosses not to vote for her. Men pressured women and boom! America chose Trump. Conservative and mainstream outlets began chortling that Hillary claimed women “caved” to pressure from the men in their lives.

 

That stone hit the water and splashed waves of comic relief. First, Hillary’s strange punditry supplied her critics with schadenfreude and her supporters with chagrin. Second, the corrupt fact-checking racket leaped to throw its body in front of Hillary, bravely trying to deflect her deserved soaking. And third, leftist academics, but that’s redundant and repetitive, are riding to the rescue to breathe life into Hillary’s limp theory.
 
To set the stage, consider Hillary’s words in context. At an NPR interview on her No Mea Culpa tour, she recounted a somber conversation with writer Sheryl Sandberg about the sexism that would hold her back:
 
Sheryl ended this really sobering conversation by saying that women will have no empathy for you, because they will be under tremendous pressure — and I’m talking principally about white women — they will be under tremendous pressure from fathers and husbands and boyfriends and male employers not to vote for “the girl.”
So, on Hillary’s list of public enemies, to Bernie Sanders and James Comey, add women cowed by men. Even centrist and liberal outlets took umbrage to this characterization. Hillary’s explanation is sexist declared Newsweek. She thinks women voted against her because of men sniffed Glamour. And of course center and right media piled on about Hillary’s women who caved.
 
 
The specter of fingers pointing from both right and left at the Bad Candidate obviously embarrassed establishment Democrats and the Left. But, again I’m being redundant, again. Something had to be done. And fact checkers were just the ones to do it. Snopes stepped up to the vault, performed a double twisting somersault, and declared the charge that Hillary blamed her defeat on women who caved to men “mostly false.” Snopes’s reasoning was that Hillary had not actually used the word “caved” and, anyway, the words were not her own, but Sheryl Sandberg’s.
 
 This is idiotic. Clinton obviously endorsed Sandberg’s words. She treasured them verbatim in her mind. She repeated them from her own mouth on a national interview to explain “What Happened.” Now, a careful reading shows she did not actually use any verb to capture the capitulation of her alleged wanted-to-be supporters. She just said they would be under tremendous pressure…tremendous pressure. Twice. In the same sentence. (She was being redundant).
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Tremendous pressure usually precedes a cave-in. A thorough writer who wanted to assign a verb to the process of people being forced to cave in might well deploy “yielded” or “succumbed” or “gave into” but there is nothing extravagant or distortive about the vivid verb “caved.” The widely repeated phrase was substantially true, not mostly false. But sure enough, derivative “rebuttals” sprang up, dismissing the accusation as a “misquote.”
 
 
So the score until last week was Hillary had embarrassed herself and her supporters, then liberal fact checkers handed off their beer so they could one-up her. But now, academics and a liberal newspaper have decided not to let Hillary’s embarrassment die without a fight.
 
Author Lucia Graves sets the stage mournfully: “Given the opportunity to make history by electing the first female president, women didn’t take it. And ironically, the women who bore the most resemblance to Clinton – white, heterosexual and married – were less likely to vote for her.” Graves rehearses Clinton’s theory of tremendous manpressuring and concedes “people might scoff at the idea that women vote based on what husbands and fathers tell them to do.” But, she assures us, “Social science backs up Clinton’s anecdotal hunch.”
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Graves hands the microphone over to Kelsy Kretschmer, an assistant professor of public policy at Oregon State University. Kretschmer coauthored a study on women’s voting patterns. The study confirms the long observed fact that married women tend to vote more conservatively than single women. So far so good, but here, the pressure hypotheses—and any support for Clinton—falls apart.
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The elephant in the room is women’s perception of their own interests. “’Just being married makes women more conservative in their vote choice,’” Kretchmer explains.“Individually speaking, such voting behavior is more rational than it may sound,” Graves concedes. Then she starts warming up her humor. “The key distinction, according to Kretschmer’s research, is that single women tend to cast votes with the fate of all women in mind, while women married to men vote on behalf of their husbands and families.”
 
Got that? Single women vote for womenkind. Married women vote for husbands and kids. The first thing to observe is that there’s no suggestion of “tremendous pressure” from anyone, just different women’s priorities in voting. The second thing to observe is that Graves and Kretchner conflate a handful of liberal issues–expansive abortion, equal pay (which has been the law of the land for decades), more aggressive employment litigation—with women’s interest as a whole, and dismiss other concerns that are perfectly rational motivations for women voters.
 
Their anecdotal coup de grace is telling:
 
A college-educated woman identifying as a liberal Democrat confided to Kretschmer – not wanting to be identified, as a Trump voter – that she had voted for him over Clinton because her husband’s job depends on the coal industry; she saw Trump as the candidate that would protect it, and by extension her family’s economic interests. Kretschmer called her story “the clearest, most heartbreaking validation of our article that I had ever heard.”
 
Again, there was no reported pressure or arm twisting. There was simply a self-described liberal woman voting for the candidate who promised to protect her family’s livelihood over the candidate who cackled she was “going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”
 
 It would be more accurate to say Kretschmer’s study indicates married women are more likely to vote for policies that support strong economic opportunity and family security, than they are to vote for the Hubby State envisioned by President Obama’s animated Julia character. Recall Julia is an apparently single mother who credits her life successes from childhood to old age to a series of government programs. Married women vote more conservative. Single women vote more liberal.
 
Sorry, but Hillary’s self-serving theory is still hanging out there looking stupid.

The Price Of Indulging Sanders

The Hillary-Bernie saga is not yet closed. In her new book Hillary allegedly says that Bernie Sanders did her lasting damage during the Democrat primary campaign.

I have no doubt that is true – but the more interesting allegation is that Obama kept her in a ‘straitjacket’ by not allowing her to attack Sanders – out of fear of dividing the party.

That allegation is the heart of the difficluties within the Democrat party. Sanders lost but went through the campaign unscathed due to the ‘straitjacket.’

Let me state an obvious truth that every single Democrat wishes to avoid – Bernie Sanders was the single worse major party Presidential primary candidate in the history of this country. Bernie is a self-proclaimed socialist who was quite public with is admiration of the Soviet Union (he even went to the USSR on his honeymoon!), Castro’s Cuba, the Sandinista in Nicaragua, and as of late that charming example of socialism – Venezuela. This is a man who once said that food lines are good – because it means there is food! This is a man who when directly ask to condemn the Sandinista genocide of the Mosquito Indians in Nicaragua declined to do so.

All on video by the way.

That Hillary could have destroyed Bernie at any moment she wished during the primary is without doubt true. That the Democrats could not afford to speak the truth in order to disqualify a terrible candidate demonstrates just what a mess they have become. I am sure the Democrats are hoping that the mess sorts itself out with time but it seems to be going the other way – the failure to destroy the absurdity of a socialist candidate that has vocally supported the most murderous regime’s on the planet over the last fifty years has simply made him more popular with the Democrats. No, still not at peak absurdity!

These political hens will come home to roost. Not allowing Hillary to destroy Sanders with the simple truth of who he is and what he has supported has exacerbated their problem with the socialists. The Democrats feared that allowing Hillary to speak the truth in regard to Sanders would cost them the 2016 election. This may turn out to be the most disastrous political miscalculation in modern history – NOT exposing the absurdity of the Sanders candidacy early in the primary was perhaps exactly what did cost her the election and furthermore it appears in 2018 and 2020 the Democrats will have the identical problem.

The Democrat Party is most likely approaching a painful decision – abandon the socialist aspect and lose for a while or embrace the socialists and probably become a permanent minority party. That many socialist-leaning Democrats have made the incorrect assumption that because Hillary declined to destroy Sanders in the primary the socialist ideology is electorally solid will lead to some sporting moments in the near future.