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.

The Fascination Of Virtue Signaling

The virtue signaling dynamic is beyond fascinating.

Just a few weeks ago we had the Charlottesville episode where those who define their moral superiority via virtue signaling unanimously sided with Antifa. Major politicians and the major media sided with Antifa. President Trump caught absolute hell for saying the Nazi’s and Antifa were equally responsible and implying equally as evil. People resigned from the administration due to Trump saying that.

The press, the Washington establishment, the virtue signalers of all stripes went absolutely nuts.

Now just a little while later the WashPo and other outlets explicitly say that Antifa is every bit as evil as the Nazi’s and the virtue signalers are now signaling how evil Antifa is! In other words – they now agree with Trump while they continue to castigate him for saying what they also say.

Yes, the virtue signalers are that shallow and easily manipulated.

It is becoming ever more obvious that virtue signaling is identical to shouting “I have no core values, I have no principles, I simply do anything I think will let me remain a part of the group! Let me stay in the group, please please!” Virtue signalers are no different than a leaf that falls in the river and they will go whereever that river takes them. They have apparently forsaken their volition in exchange for being popular with all of these others who have also forsaken their volition to remain popular – wash rinse repeat.

It is truly fascinating. In the wake of Charlottesville the virtue signalers were all apparently compelled to tweet and post that they ‘Opposed the White Supremacist and stood with those who opposed them’ along with the required ‘I am not a racist’ posts. We all saw them – endlessly and meaninglessly. It was simply a requirement to remain in the group – it had zero meaning beyond that and no positive effect what so ever in fighting racism.

What passes for ‘news’ organizations in this country have been nothing but virtue signalers for a long time now – the New York Times and Washington Post and CNN and MSNBC and on and on and on. They do not actually provide news and information but rather tell people what they believe is virtuous and what is not while providing just enough information to substantiate the signal while omitting everything that would destroy their position – and the bleating sheep follow mindlessly and proudly.

The flip side of virtue signaling is the shaming. When people depart from the program, engage their own brain, decide that they indeed own and are accountable for their own morals – the virtue signalers endlessly publicly shame them. It truly is a cult. People are so tremendously insecure and unwilling to think – anyone who does decide to think must be made to pay!

Amazing.

Bracing for Ignorant Stormenfreude

Bracing myself for the onslaught of dumb, unscientific Stormenfreude and dufuses saying: “See? Global warming!”
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So, let me remind alarmists that weather is not climate. An event is not a trend. A hot day in winter does not prove catastrophic global warming. A cold day in summer does not refute it. Two storms are data points, not a long term pattern. And, the world has had a years-long spell of unusually few strong tropical storms. By any natural cycle, we were due for an increase.
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Oh, by the way, they had big, damaging hurricanes way back before Al Gore invented the Internet and produced a propaganda movie that failed in every dire prediction.

On the Rogue Cop and the Reasonable Nurse, Salt Lake City is Making the Bleeding Worse

So far, Salt Lake City’s response to the rogue cop, Jeff Payne, who manhandled Alex Wubbles, the professional and respectful nurse who refused him access to take the blood of an unconscious accident victim raises more questions than it answers.The questions are serious and go to the competence and integrity of the Police Department.
 
Salt Lake Mayor Jackie Biskupski and Police Chief Mike Brown gave puzzling and unsatisfactory explanations at their Friday press conference. Biskuski said she did not want  “an entire police department to be painted in a bad light due to the actions of one individual. Clearly we believe the actions of this individual were not justified.” But, in fact this episode does paint the entire department in a bad light, starting with the explanation offered by Chief Brown, who stated:
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To date, we have suspended the officer from the blood draw program. We have already replaced our blood draw policy with a new policy. All remaining officers on the blood draw program have reviewed, and are operating under the new policy and protocol.
.The Chief’s statement raises at least the following questions:
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Whether the arrest was lawful or not, the nurse was calm and professional. The cop escalated the situation with a sudden outburst of temper and force in a hospital ER room. Why was that not grounds for immediate suspension? What possible justification could any “investigation” uncover for his brutish behavior?
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Removing Detective Payne from the blood-draw program seems like the merest of administrative wrist slaps. What assurance do Salt Lake residents have that Payne will not be in a position to abuse his authority in other ways? (Under mounting public pressure, Salt Lake City Police Department later announced that Payne has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation).
 
Payne spoke by phone or radio with his commanding officer, a lieutenant at the station who instructed Payne to arrest Wubbels if she did not allow him to draw blood. If Payne’s action was improper, so was the lieutenant’s direction. What accountability does he have? What consequences might he face?
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Nurse Wubbels was on the phone with a hospital official who advised Payne “he was making a big mistake.” Wubbels further rehearsed to Payne the terms of an “agreement” between the hospital and the Department: Blood may only be withdrawn with a warrant, or with the person’s consent, or if the person is under arrest. Why were these communications not a very serious check on Payne and the lieutenant to make further inquiry before slapping cuffs on an on-duty nurse?
 
Is there a Memorandum of Understanding between the hospital and the Department on this issue? Did Wubbels accurately summarize its terms, demonstrating knowledge of the blood draw rules superior to the Department’s trained phlebotomist?
 
Announcing that the blood draw policy was immediately changed is problematic and raises further questions. Did the lieutenant’s orders, and Payne’s arrest comply with the policy, or did they violate it? If they complied, then the policy itself was seriously flawed. Is it reasonable to single out Payne for disapproval and sanction for obeying a direct order consistent with Department policy? What about the Department’s responsibility to have sound materials and training?
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If they violated the policy, then what problems or errors it required amending? What changes were made? Will the department publicly release the former and revised versions of the policy? Will there be review or accountability for the authors of the policy? Or for the officials or City legal staff who approved the policy?
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What training programs and review protocols does the Department have in place to ensure that officer knowledge and written policies and manuals reflect current legal and Constitutional standards?
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Before public outrage forced Payne’s suspension, who made the decision to leave him on active duty, with removal from on-the-job phlebotomy as the only current consequence? This incident obviously touched a sensitive nerve for the viewing public, but appears initially to have triggered a lesser reaction with the brass. How can the public be confident that the Salt Lake City Police Department is mindful of and protective of the rights of all citizens?
 
 
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