Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tweet on Outrage

For John, BLUFMote and all that.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Twitter sends me items every day, in EMail form. Here is a Tweet from Ms Mollie Hemingway, of the Federalist:
Have a great day.  My spiritual gift is not caring about your feigned outrage.  Direct it elsewhere.  I mute/block for stupidity.  I mute a lot.
Regards  —  Cliff

Times, er, ah Error

For John, BLUFThe Newspaper of Record is in trouble in a number of ways.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

"Say it ain't so, Joe".  Well, it is at the "Cathedral". This tidbit is from Mr Tom Maguire, on the Blog Just One Minute.
Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, an Obama holdover, thrills her future employers by refusing to put the weight of the DoJ behind Trump's travel ban.  Even the Times admits this gesture is somewhat symbolic since she is on her way out and Jeff Sessions is on his way in, but they include this odd detail:
Mr. Trump has the authority to fire Ms. Yates, but as the top Senate-confirmed official at the Justice Department, she is the only one authorized to sign foreign surveillance warrants, an essential function at the department.
Say what?  I am not an authority on departmental succession but I have seen the trailers for "Designated Survivor" and I can't believe there is no Plan B if, God forbid, Ms. Yates is hit by a car or taken ill in the next few days.
And then MR Maguire looks at the FISA verbiage.

Yes, fake news.  At least this one didn't involve Reporter Maggie Haberman.

A final question.  If she (Acting A/G Yates) was acting on principle, shouldn't she have resigned in protest, rather than making the President ask for her resignation?  Is this more political theater than actual principled action?  Was Ms Yates just "virtual signaling to the Progressive side, rather than doing her job as Attorney General?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  By the way, he did.  I wonder if it would have been a better choice to ask Ms Loretta Lynch to stay on until Senator Sessions was Confirmed by the Senate?

Monday, January 30, 2017

Long Term Thinking

For John, BLUFThis probably applies to both sides.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

An acquaintance of mine passed along this quote.  She was talking about the recent kerfuffle over the President's Executive Order on immigrants from certain countries.
Let's not make ourselves look stupider for posterity than strictly necessary!
Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Being Nice Isn't Enough

For John, BLUFIt isn't enough to be nice, you have to help people grow.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Mr Kyle Smith, as Acculturated talks to the question of if "niceness" is enough.  Mr Smith views "niceness" as an excuse to avoid the responsibility to lead, to set standards and hold people to them.  That is so Twentieth Century, or Nineteenth Century, or Eighteenth Century or, here in what was to be become the United States, the Seventeenth Century.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Trump's Foreign Policy Landscape

For John, BLUFPresident Trumps pull-back in foreign affairs is a two edge sword.  We avoid "dumb wars" but we may miss opportunities to deter aggression when it is still at a low level.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Yes, this is from two months ago, but a chance to see if Professor Niall Ferguson called it correctly back on 21 November of last year.

This American Interest article comes complete with 24 footnotes.  Serious writing.

Here is how it starts:

What a Kissinger-inspired strategy might look like.

Ten days after the election of Donald J. Trump to be the 45th President of the United States, there is a more or less complete lack of certainty as to which direction his foreign policy will take, but a great deal of speculation—much of it alarmist—based on things Mr. Trump has said in speeches and interviews.  Yet few if any Presidents base their foreign policy strictly on campaign rhetoric.  Few if any break entirely with the policies of their predecessors.  And, indeed, few if any can be said, in practice, to have anything so coherent as a foreign policy doctrine, much less a grand strategy.  Experience also suggests that the foreign policy of the Trump Administration will depend a good deal on who gets the key jobs—Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, as well as National Security Advisor—and on who wins the interdepartmental struggle that will inevitably ensue: the battle for bureaucratic priority, the fight for regular access to the President, the war of leaks to the media.

Rather than speculate about such transitional questions, it may be more constructive for now to ask what Trump’s strategic options actually are as seen against the widest parameters that reality may bear.  In this context, it is helpful that the nation’s most respected living strategic thinker and practitioner has already aired some of his views.  Having endorsed neither leading candidate for the presidency, but having met with both during their campaigns, Henry Kissinger deserves to be heeded.  There is, of course, no certainty that his views will be heeded by the President-elect or his national security team.  It would be foolhardy to assume that the President-elect does not take his own oft-stated views seriously, and these do not align especially well with those of Henry Kissinger.  But Kissinger’s advice is being sought, and prospective cabinet officials may be more amenable to it than not.  There is therefore no reason to assume that the embryonic administration is so wedded to a particular strategic doctrine that what follows can be dismissed out of hand.

Then the article goes on to examine "the geopolitical landscape that Trump inherits form his predecessor."  Here is a way to think about the world order:
Four competing visions of world order—the European-Westphalian, the Islamic, the Chinese, and the American—are each in varying stages of metamorphosis, if not decay.
Ours, here in America, is not the only vision, or even the vision embraced by the majority of people.

And here is a good insight:

Donald Trump therefore enters the Oval Office with an underestimated advantage.  Obama’s foreign policy has been a failure, most obviously in the Middle East, where the smoldering ruin that is Syria—not to mention Iraq and Libya—attests to the fundamental naivety of his approach, dating all the way back to the 2009 Cairo speech.  The President came to believe he had an ingenious strategy to establish geopolitical balance between Sunni and Shi’a.  But by treating America’s Arab friends with open disdain, while cutting a nuclear deal with Iran that has left Tehran free to wage proxy wars across the region, Obama has achieved not peace but a fractal geometry of conflict and a frightening, possibly nuclear, arms race.  At the same time, he has allowed Russia to become a major player in the Middle East for the first time since Kissinger squeezed the Soviets out of Egypt in the 1972-79 period.  The death toll in the Syrian war now approaches half a million; who knows how much higher it will rise between now and Inauguration Day?
Good food for thought.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Nancy Pelosi Confused

For John, BLUFUntil the Democrats break the code they are going to have problems.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Back on 24 January, writing in Pajama Media Mr Tyler O'Neil discussed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's comments about the difference between Democrats and Republicans:
Of Republicans, the Democrat congresswoman from California declared, "They pray in church on Sunday and they prey on people the rest of the week.  And while we're doing the Lord's work, ministering to the needs of God's creation, they are ignoring those needs which is to dishonor the God who made them."
Well, except for abortions.  And those victims don't vote.  So, there you have it.  And, the Democrats hold people in a form of servitude while Republicans work to liberate them.

This week's Gospel was the Beatitudes, from the Gospel of St Matthew (Mt 5:1-12).  I didn't see anything about abortion or about some of the ways Democrats make people dependent.  Maybe I missed something.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Who Commits Terrorism in the US?

For John, BLUFI think this comes from the Obama years.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is about New You Times Reporter Maggie Haberman.  She is the White House Correspondent for The Old Gray Lady.  She tweeted:
Other than San Bernardino shootings, has there been a terrorist attack involving a non-US-born attacker since 9/11?
Ms Haberman was up late, as this was date stamped 9:23 PM - 27 Jan 2017, from Brooklyn, NY.

Someone asked why we use 9/11, rather than 9/10 (or some earlier date)?

Oh, amongst others, there are the Tsarnaev Brothers (Boston Marathon Bombing).

Several people responding suggested The New York Times invest money in Google Accounts for their Reporters.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, January 27, 2017

I Forgot to Mention

For John, BLUFThe Other Wing of the Republican Party still rules in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Globe and Reporter Travis Andersen, we have a report of the Massachusetts Republican State Committee meeting on Wednesday, 25 January 2017.

Here is the lede plus two:

State GOP chair Kirsten Hughes on Wednesday night won re-election to the leadership post, fending off a challenge from a conservative activist.

Hughes, an attorney and president of the Quincy City Council, defeated Steve Aylward, of Watertown, by a margin of 46-30 at a meeting of the state party committee in Newton, a spokesman said.

Governor Charlie Baker backed Hughes in her re-election bid, while Aylward, a supporter of President Trump, was the favored candidate of the party’s right flank.

The meeting was at the Newton Marriott at 7 PM.  For challenger Steve Aylward there was a reception at 5:30 AM.  The reception was well attended, with over 60 people.

The 7:00 meeting had more than 100 people sitting behind the ropes separating them from the actual 80 elected Committee Members, including two from Lowell. Our two State Committee members broke down as follows.

State Committeewoman Sheila Harrington explained that she did not like the actions of Steve Aylward, Shanna O'Connell, and Geoff Diehl.  In her mind they have done nothing to help the MA GOP and their actions have hurt "good" legislation. She voted to support Ms Hughes.

On the other hand,

State Committeeman Dennis Galvin gave an excellent two minute nomination speech on be half of Steve Aylward.

In the end, Ms Kirsten Hughes was again voted in as MA State Committee Chairman, 46-30.  A pretty solid win, suggesting that the more conservative side is still fighting an uphill battle in this Commonwealth.

My conclusion: It is tough to be a Republican in MA. Regards  —  Cliff

Illegals Do Register to Vote

For John, BLUFJust not three million.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Well, it is The Washington Times and it is Reporter Rowan Scarborough, but it is a university study.  On the other hand, it is about three-quarters shy of the number President Trump was been trumpeting.

Here is the lede plus two:

Hillary Clinton garnered more than 800,000 votes from noncitizens on Nov. 8, an approximation far short of President Trump’s estimate of up to 5 million illegal voters but supportive of his charges of fraud.

Political scientist Jesse Richman of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, has worked with colleagues to produce groundbreaking research on noncitizen voting, and this week he posted a blog in response to Mr. Trump’s assertion.

Based on national polling by a consortium of universities, a report by Mr. Richman said 6.4 percent of the estimated 20 million adult noncitizens in the U.S. voted in November.  He extrapolated that that percentage would have added 834,381 net votes for Mrs. Clinton, who received about 2.8 million more votes than Mr. Trump.

Reporter Issue Lapowsky, of Wired, has a 25 January 2017 article headlined "Author of Trump’s Favorite Voter Fraud Study Says Everyone’s Wrong".

Reporter Joanne Kimberlin of The Virginian-Pilot wrote on Wednesday that "Trump’s order for “major investigation” into voter fraud is based on misquoted ODU research"

Misquoted, but real.

The study in question is "Do non-citizens vote in U.S. elections?"  It was published, on line, on 21 September 2014.  The authors were:

  1. Jesse T. Richman (Department of Political Science, Old Dominion University, BAL 7000, Norfolk, VA 23529) (jrichman@odu.edu)
  2. Gulshan A. Chattha (Old Dominion University) (gchat001@odu.edu)
  3. David C. Earnest (George Mason University) (dearnest@odu.edu)
Here is the abstract from the study itself:
In spite of substantial public controversy, very little reliable data exists concerning the frequency with which non-citizen immigrants participate in United States elections.  Although such participation is a violation of election laws in most parts of the United States, enforcement depends principally on disclosure of citizenship status at the time of voter registration.  This study examines participation rates by non-citizens using a na­ tionally representative sample that includes non-citizen immigrants.  We find that some non-citizens participate in U.S. elections, and that this participation has been large enough to change meaningful election outcomes including Electoral College votes, and Congres­ sional elections.  Non-citizen votes likely gave Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress.
And here is the pull quote:
Non-citizen votes likely gave Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress.
That would be 2009 and 2010.

So, when some Democrat tells you that voter fraud is a fiction, tell them it just ain't so.

Regards  —  Cliff

Dumb Memes, Day Two

For John, BLUF"Are you seeing a certain amount of hypocrisy here…".  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is today's Prickly City Cartoon.

The Democrats don't seem to see the hypocrisy here.

Regards  —  Cliff

Hunting For Election Fraud

For John, BLUFIt is out there and we all know it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is Messrs John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky, and the vehicle is Fox News.

President Trump has announced that his administration will be launching a major investigation of voter fraud, including those who are registered in more than one state, “those who are illegal” and those voters who are dead but still registered. This followed a media firestorm in which the New York Times and others called Trump’s assertion a “lie.”

But just last week, President Obama told a whopper at his last news conference that went almost completely unnoticed, much less criticized.

He promised he would continue to fight voter-ID laws and other measures designed to improve voting integrity. The U.S. is “the only country among advanced democracies that makes it harder to vote,” he claimed.

This is demonstrably false. All industrialized democracies — and most that are not — require voters to prove their identity before voting.

I think we should just say, out of respect, that then President Obama was befuddled.  As for The Old Gray Lady (and Shep Smith), they are just overwrought and thus not thinking properly.

Is there voter fraud?  Yes, just look at Lawrence.  Do the Democrats deny it exists?  Yes, because they are afraid that some of their fellow Democrats are engaged in it.  Is it wide-spread?  I am doubtful, but the Green Party Candidate Jill Stein seemed to think so and did find some problems in some states this last election.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I would hope Republicans would wish to identify it and root it out.  I would.

Dark Money on the Left

For John, BLUFEvery time someone says Koch to you, you should say Soros to them.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The sub-headline is "The dystopian vision of George Soros, billionaire funder of the Left".

The article can be found in City Journal (Winter 2017 Edition) and the author is Mr Stefan Kanfer.

Here is the lede plus two:

When the dust was cleared and the debris swept away, he stood revealed as Hillary Clinton’s most generous billionaire donor.  Yet his name rarely surfaced during the presidential campaign—and that’s generally the way he likes it.  Dark Money, Jane Mayer’s book about covert political funding, refers to the Koch brothers more than 300 times in its excoriation of the “radical right” but mentions progressive icon George Soros just six times; three are footnotes.

One of the planet’s richest men, his past marred with crimes and misdemeanors, the 86-year-old billionaire skates on.  More than a decade ago, he moved his financial headquarters to Curaçao, a tax-free haven in the Caribbean designed for monied hypocrites who talk one game and play another.  The place is not bulletproof; on occasion, Soros has been accused—and even convicted—of insider trading.  A French court found him guilty of that crime and levied a fine of $2.3 million. In the parlance of the billionaires’ club, that was small change.  Investigative journalists, a dwindling cadre, show little interest in him.  They prefer to scrutinize safer, softer targets.

If they took even a cursory look, though, they would see that Soros’s global reach and influence far outstrip those of the Koch brothers or other liberal bogeymen—and that underlying it all is a vision both dystopian and opportunistic.  “The main obstacle to a stable and just world order,” Soros has declared, “is the United States.”  Ergo, that constitutional republic must be weakened and its allies degraded.  The Sorosian world order—one of open borders and global governance, antithetical to the ideals and experience of the West—could then assume command.

Yes, we are talking the Koch Brothers of the Left, only more so.  One does wonder why he doesn't get the press the Koch brothers get.  Is it possible that Law Professor Glenn Reynolds is correct, reporters are Democrats with Press Credentials?

If there is action on the left, look for George Soros (and his money) in the background.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Pirates, Yesterday and Today

For John, BLUFAn interesting story.  I wonder who writes about this up here?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The National Endowment for the Humanities has finally paid off, with this article by Professor Mark G Hanna.

I remember an inkling of this from my history classes when I was young, but this article makes clear the emerging understanding of how to accumulate capital and to make economies run.  Check your background and you may find a pirate lurking there.

Now the question is, who were more the pirates, the Moors and the Brits?

Speaking of Pirates, did you see the price for the Kindle edition of his book (link below).  It is $31.72, US currency.  Just when the Kindle was reviving reading we find publishers charging prices designed to drive away those readers.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  He has written this up in book form as Pirate Nests and the Rise of the British Empire, 1570–1740
  Unfortunately, Professor Hanna will probably be turning in his US Passport for one stamped "California", after they succeed from the Union.  He will need to do that to keep his job at UC-SD.

Protests Run Amok

For John, BLUFVeterans deserve better from their fellow citizens.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the web magazine Task and Purpose and the keyboard of Adam Linehan, on 25 Jan 2017.  Here is the sub-headline:
Vandals have struck the headquarters building of AMVETS, a nonpartisan national veterans organization that has been falsely accused of endorsing Trump.

Regards  —  Cliff

Dumb Memes

For John, BLUFThis "hacked the election" thing is childish.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is today's Prickly City Cartoon.

Carmen pretty well sums up my view.

Regards  —  Cliff

Canadian Politics

For John, BLUFInteresting, but not serious.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Meanwhile, up in Canada, there is some movement with the Progressive order.

The report, from Sunday, is from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, by Reporter Éric Grenier.

Here is how it starts:

Justin Trudeau and his ministers will gather this week for a cabinet retreat in Calgary, site of a Liberal breakthrough in the last election that will soon be put to the test in a pair of byelections.

The Liberals won two seats in Calgary in 2015 — the party's first victories in the city in almost 50 years — and Trudeau's team will look to take advantage of its time there on Monday and Tuesday to build on that progress.

Campaigns to fill the seats vacated by former prime minister Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney need to be kicked off soon.  The deadline in Harper's Calgary Heritage riding is Feb. 25 and in Kenney's Midnapore it's March 22.

Translation notes:

Liberal Party means the left.
Riding is Brit Speak for an Parliamentary district.
While this is pretty upbeat from a Liberal point of view, I am not sure Canada will be able to resist the global trend for more conservative governments.

Hat tip to James Buba.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Schumer Breaks His Word

For John, BLUFOr is it just that he is a New Yorker?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Pajama Media and Columnist Michael Walsh, 23 January.

It appears some believe that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer promised to approve Representative Mike Pompeo as CIA Director on Inauguration Day, and then thought better of it.

I thought with the replacement of Senator Harry Reid with the more pragmatic Senator Chuck Schumer as Senate Minority Leader that the nasty, dingy performance of the former would be replaced by a more enjoyable experience.  It appears I was wrong.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

They Never Listen

For John, BLUFPaying attention helps avoid making mistakes.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

In support of the idea that folks ignore briefings, I offer up this 60 year old video.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Unfair and Unbalanced

For John, BLUFAll have feet of clay.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Shepherd Smith is a jerk. 

On his "news" show he goes out of his way to say that there is no proof of voter fraud as he reports on President Trump saying that there was wide spread voter fraud back in November 2016.

On the other hand, A B Stoddard (Real Clear Politics)is saying that the Democrats (in and out of Congress) are concerned about (afraid of) an investigation that will uncover pockets of voter fraud.

But, back to Shep, the problem is he was not this over the top over leaking of information from the IC on the supposed "hacking" of the election by the Russians.  Does no one in the Media understand that when one says "hacking of the election" one conveys the election itself was subverted.  Yes, the Democratic National Committee EMails were hacked and revealed.  Mr Julian Assange, who used to be a darling of the Progressives, claimed he did it without the help of Russia.  But, that can't be acceptable, so he is now a pariah.  And, to garner sympathy, we blame the Russians, who are just enjoying the whole thing to no end.  The fact that the hacking revealed the duplicitous nature of the DNC, and the distain of DNC officials for those Mrs Clinton described as "Deplorables" was important in the election, but apparently not for the media.

So, why did Shep not talk about that as the balancing that it is?

Who knows?  My wife says he has an "Agenda".  Maybe so.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Daniel 2:31-43.

Oikophobia is Here and Real

For John, BLUFNot every "Deplorable" is.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From USA Today and Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds.

Key Paragraph:

Roger Scruton coined the term “oikophobia” (from the Greek oikos for “home”) to describe the fear of one’s fellow countrymen.  And there seems to be rather a lot of it among the gentry liberals who make up America’s ruling class.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFWe are all in this together and you can't opt out unless you emigrate and change your citizenship.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the New York Times, we have a set of views on the Inauguration of President Donald John Trump.  This one by Ms Lindy West, who is a columnist at The Guardian and the author of the memoir Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman.

Here is the last paragraph:

Those who believe that straight, white men have a mandate to burn the rest of us as fuel, to sell us for parts, to mow us down and climb up the pile, never truly conceded that war.  They have been biding their time, and this is their last great gambit.  But I live in the America that won — the America with art and empathy and a free press and fierce protest.  Not my president, not now, not ever.
Here is the problem with "not my President".  If things go wrong, and the People survive for a hundred years, the new generation will look back and say, "it is your fault", whether you claimed the President or not.  Look how many current Southerners are blamed for Democratic President Jefferson Davis.  People like Senator Jeff Sessions.  His Great Grand Pappy may have said "not my President", but Senator Sessions is still tarred with the brush.

Just saying

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

President Trump in the Days Ahead

For John, BLUFAlready talk of the threat to President Trump in 2019, given a Democratic Party victory in 2018—as if.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

That would be Gad Fly Hugh Hewitt.

From The Hill, by Reporter Paulina Firozi.

Here is the lede:

Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt said Tuesday he thinks President Trump is on "constitutional thin ice" and could face impeachment if Democrats regain control of the House in 2018.
Yes, possible.  However, I think this assertion is wrong:
"He’s beginning his presidency successfully in my view with a few, very bold initiatives, but with the highest negatives of any incoming president since Gallup kept track. That says to me: thin ice, move carefully.”
Yes, he was elected because he had a few very bold initiatives.  That is what got him elected.  He was a contrast to Ms Hillary Clinton, who was not transformational and did not really campaign as transformational.  But, given his high negatives, President Trump has to move boldly, otherwise those who voted for him in 2017 will reject him as not being the person they thought he was.  Martin Luther would urge him to "sin boldly".

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Five Hundred Year Anniversary of his tacking up his Ninety-five Theses, tacked to the door of All Saints' Church, in Wittenberg, Germany.

When You Fall

For John, BLUFNot everything in The New York Times is rubbish.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Kate Murphy, in The New York Times.

Do a PLF.

It works.  But, run it through your mind a number of times so it is automatic when you find yourself falling.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

By KATE MURPHY•JAN. 24, 2017

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Voter ID Worldwide

For John, BLUFTell me you never heard of voter fraud in Lawrence.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:
He claimed that other countries don’t have voter-ID laws, though many do.
From National Review and the keyboard of Mr John Fund.
President Obama is known for telling some whoppers — “If you like your health-care plan, you can keep it” is perhaps the most infamous – so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that he told a final one as president right before leaving office last week.

At his final press conference, Obama promised that he would continue to fight voter-ID laws and other measures designed to improve voting integrity.  The U.S. is “the only country among advanced democracies that makes it harder to vote,” he claimed.  “It traces directly back to Jim Crow and the legacy of slavery, and it became sort of acceptable to restrict the franchise. . . . This whole notion of election-voting fraud, this is something that has constantly been disproved.  This is fake news.”

The argument over whether or not there is voter fraud will rage on, in part because the Obama administration has spent eight years blocking states from gaining access to federal lists of non-citizen and other possibly illegal voters.  Even so, there is abundant evidence that voter fraud is easy to commit.  The Heritage Foundation’s website contains hundreds of recent examples of people convicted of stealing votes.  But Obama’s first statement, that the U.S. is unique in trying to enforce ballot integrity, is demonstrably false.

All industrialized democracies — and most that are not — require voters to prove their identity before voting.  Britain was a holdout, but last month it announced that persistent examples of voter fraud will require officials to see passports or other documentation from voters in areas prone to corruption.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

A VW Pickup?

For John, BLUFTariffs distort the market.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Marco den Ouden, writing from Australia. Here is how it starts:
The other day my daughter, who is moving to Canada, and I were car-hunting at a Volkswagen dealership.  During our conversation with a salesman, he told us that the Australian VW sells a superb high-end pickup truck called an Amorak that is not sold in Canada or the United States.

"Why not?" I asked. "That," said the salesman, "is a long story.  Google Volkswagen and Chicken Tax to get the answer.”

Yes, in the article is the whole sordid story.  Europe was worried about us flooding their market with chickens and thus a tax, which resulted in retaliation, thus no VW Pickups.  Actually, that is a shame for Middle America.  They are the source of chickens and they might have liked a VW Pickup as an alternative to the others on the market.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, January 23, 2017

Reforming Government Means Fighting Entrenched Bureaucrats

For John, BLUFThe Bureaucrats will fight fiercely.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

And the sub-headline:
Federal workers fume over Trump's vows to freeze hiring and shrink the government.
The source is Politico, by Reporters Nancy Cook and Andrew Restuccia, on 23 January 2017.

This is how it starts out:

President Donald Trump is setting himself up for a messy clash with the country’s 2.1 million federal employees as his administration quietly preps plans to cut the size of the government workforce.

As one of his first acts Monday, Trump signed an executive order freezing most federal hiring.  His team is also fine-tuning plans to shrink several agencies focused on domestic policy, according to sources close to the transition.

Now, the president is about to find out how much power these maligned workers have to slow or even short-circuit his agenda.

Disgruntled employees can leak information to Capitol Hill and the press, and prod inspectors general to probe political appointees.  They can also use the tools of bureaucracy to slow or sandbag policy proposals — moves that can overtly, or passive aggressively, unravel a White House’s best-laid plans.

“The government is a place where it is easier to keep something from getting done, than it is to actually do something,” said Robert Shea, an official in George W. Bush’s Office of Management and Budget.  “All of the work that the new administration wants to get accomplished will depend on the speed and productivity of the federal workforce.”

The thing is, those Civil Service Bureaucrats were going to fight the Trump agenda whether he had issued this Executive Order or not.  Are we confused about this?

If there is going to be change in the Federal Government, and that is what the Voters were voting for when they elected their Electors, then the Bureaucrats are going to have to step aside.  A lot of us don't wish to see the kind of activities that thwarted the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki (or on a more local level, retired Lieutenant General Julius W Becton, when he became the Superintendent of Washington, DC, schools.

Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Regards  —  Cliff

Madonna's Dream

For John, BLUFFortunately, the laws are such as to squash our dreams.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Law Professor Eugene Volohk, writing in The Wash Post over the weekend.

Legal details at the link.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFSpreading Rejectionism.  Nothing to see here; just move along.


A trending hashtag.

Comments at the Ann Althouse Blog here.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Where is Rachel Maddow?

For John, BLUFMaybe she suffers from paranoia, or else too much self importance.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

It has been 72 hours since the Inauguration and still no report of Ms Rachel Maddow being taken to an internment camp.

Yesterday the big news was millions of women marching, across the globe, to Protest President Trump.  Back in early November most of the Press missed the fact that millions of women voted for Mr Trump.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Do you think she had a mind cramp and meant "Concentration Camp"?  As in Nazi Era German Concentration Camps?

Trotsky on Eugenics

For John, BLUFEugenics is a perversion of science.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

That would be Leon Trotsky, for those of you on the right.  I am assuming leftists all know about Leon Trotsky, born Lev Davidovich Bronstein.

This article from FEE (Foundation for Economic Education) is by Mr Jeffrey Tucker.  It was published on New Years Day 2017.

Here is the beginning of the article:

The unending process of getting history online has produced vast revelations.  The latest discovery to amaze me is an article by Russian communist Leon Trotsky from 1934, as printed in the publication Liberty:  “If America Should Go Communist.”

Trotsky’s 1934 article exudes confidence in how communism could be realized in the United States.  Trotsky, beloved then and now as the Menshevik and later Bolshevik leader, wrote this document in a period in his life in which he was massively popular among American intelligentsia.  He had lived in New York for three months in 1917, and established some strong and enduring ties with communists.  Following his split with Lenin, he lived in exile from 1927 to 1940, when he was assassinated in Mexico on Stalin’s personal orders.

It’s fair to say that many if not most American communists in 1934 considered themselves Trotskyites, still holding onto hope for some realization of authentic communism as opposed to the growing mess in Russia.

Trotsky’s 1934 article exudes confidence in how communism could be realized in the United States.  The New Deal was starting to be implemented while the National Socialists were intensifying their total control of Germany.  Everywhere, it seemed, capitalism was disgraced, to be replaced by rational economic planning.  Trotsky was merely writing on the far end of the spectrum of the planning consensus.

One Big Conveyor Belt

He writes as if putting his dreams into words could create reality itself.  Keep in mind that this was back when the communists actually believed that they could create more productivity than capitalism.

Here we get to the nub of the Eugenics Question.  Not a great exposition, but one that makes a lot of sense.
After researching this topic now for two years, I’ve framed a rule for thinkers of this period:  scratch a socialist and you will discover a eugenicist who aches to use the state to control who lives and dies.  It turns out to apply to Trotsky as well.

Consider this bizarre paragraph from his 1934 essay:

While the romantic numskulls of Nazi Germany are dreaming of restoring the old race of Europe’s Dark Forest to its original purity, or rather its original filth, you Americans, after taking a firm grip on your economic machinery and your culture, will apply genuine scientific methods to the problem of eugenics.  Within a century, out of your melting pot of races there will come a new breed of men – the first worthy of the name of Man.
To be sure, his views were no different from any other run-of-the-mill intellectual at the time.  Eugenics was a widely held outlook and policy aspiration, from Madison Grant’s freak out about white genocide in 1916 all the way through Gunnar Myrdal’s advocacy of Sweden’s barbaric sterilizations in the name of purifying the race.

Was his push for eugenics driven by racial panic, as was the case with many Progressive Era intellectuals?Even so, one does wonder what Trotsky had in mind.  Was his push for eugenics driven by racial panic, as was the case with many Progressive Era intellectuals?  Was it merely a general desire to improve the genetic composition of the average person? Or perhaps it was actually a political motivation.  Maybe the ultimate answer to the “bourgeois mind” was extermination through sterilization, exclusion, impoverishment, and death in one generation?

Let's face it.  The motley assembly of humans that is America probably does need sprucing up.  However, that is something that should be left to mutual attraction, not some government bureaucracy make genetic decisions for individuals, Margaret Sanger style.

Besides, Leon Trotsky was against chewing gum.  That is very un-American.

We should be thankful Mr Trotsky never lead a revolution in these United States.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Long Term Thinking

For John, BLUFYes, Mr Trump can appear impulsive, but he also seems to be a person who invests for the long term.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Surprisingly, this is from The Wash Post.  Not surprisingly, it is from the keyboard of Reporter Karen Tumulty, over the weekend.

In November 2012 Mr Trump plunked down $325 and copyrighted the slogan "Make America Great Again".  Within days of Candidate Mitt Romney going down in flames in his run against President Barack Obama.

That move suggests that Mr Trump is either very luck or is an insightful strategic thinker.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

You remember, the throwback who was warning that Russia was a strategic threat.
Of course there is the aphorism "Better lucky that good, because there is always someone better."

False Equality

For John, BLUFMaximize the value of women, but don't demand more than they are prepared to provide.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The sub-headline is:
There will never be enough women who want to be executives — not as long as they choose to have children.
The Guest Columnist at USA Today is Ms Suzanne Venker.  This item is from way back on 14 Dec 2016, but the basic facts remain. Here is how it started out:
Last week was big for the pull between work and family.

On Wednesday more than two dozen executives at companies such as Bank of America Corp. and LinkedIn Corp. signed a pledge to get more women out of the home and into our nation’s boardrooms.  The goal of this initiative, entitled Paradigm for Parity, is to have women represent 50% of the “upper echelons” by 2030.  Only then, these advocates believe, will America have achieved equality.

But gender parity in the workforce is futile.  There will never be enough women who want that kind of life — not as long as they choose to have children.  Indeed, children are “a key factor” in how women choose to structure their lives.

And here is the wrap up.
It is simply indisputable that most women with children want their lives to revolve around family, not around work.  Money and power just doesn’t hold the same value to them as it does for a select group of women.  That is not where their identities lie.

In America today, equal opportunity for women abounds — and that’s as it should be.  But it will never result in equal outcomes.

As former U.S. Congresswoman Clare Boothe Luce once said, “It is time to leave the question of the role of women up to Mother Nature — a difficult lady to fool.  You have only to give women the same opportunities as men, and you will soon find out what is or is not in their nature.  What is in women’s nature to do they will do, and you won’t be able to stop them.  But you will also find, and so will they, that what is not in their nature, even if they are given every opportunity, they will not do — and you won’t be able to make them do it.”

I have seen this myself.  I gave an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Personnel Officer a shot at being a "strategist" on the Joint Staff and she ended up a two star operations officer at No Such Agency.  On the other hand I offered a very bright leader of a small software operation a chance to move up, several times, and she said no, it would conflict with her duties as a Mother.  Smart people making personal decisions.

Even if we grant that men and women are NOT equal, but that women are further out on the curve of capability, that for every five men who are executive quality there are six or seven women, it is still not going to come out with equal numbers in the board room.  Unless there is someone with their thumb on the scale.  And that would not be equality.

And, how many men get to birth children?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

What Asterisk?

For John, BLUFCredibility is easily lost.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Reporter Kyle Drennen, at News Busters we have this item re Talk Show Host Chuck Todd.

I think I understand what it is Mr Todd is trying to say, but, frankly, out across the fruited plain there is no "asterisk".  That said, there may be an "asterisk" with regard to media coverage over the last year.

The other thing is that when people question his election it is no surprise that the President fights back.  If he gives in there will be no end to this kind of innuendo.  The President needs to fight back each and every time.  And we who support the President need to help him fight back.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Today's March

For John, BLUFWhat about those who voted to elect the Electors who voted for Mr Trump?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

There are a number of essays at the link above.  The top one, when I linked in, is by Ms Lindy West, a columnist at The Guardian and the author of the memoir Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman.

She still seems pretty shrill.  Is it going to be rejectionism from now on out, one side or the other rejecting the outcome of each election?  Are the 34ists going to cling to their distorted view of the world for ever?  And where did this "Trump as anti-Semite" meme come from?

President Trump with a Jewish son-in-law, who he seems to listen to.  President Trump with an inclination to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.  If that makes President Trump an anti-Semite, then what does it make outgoing President Obama?

This is just crazy.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

  A Jewish friend, in an undisclosed location, EMailed me an article on this and I EMailed back that we would hide him on our third floor, given that Martha and I are both only about 1% ethnic Jewish, thus the evil forces might pass over us.  He wrote back that he would start writing his diary now.

Improving Learning Outcomes

For John, BLUFYou should print out the report and skim it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I got to this article in The Wash Post via BREITBART, yesterday.  The original reporter was Ms Emma Brown.

This article is about an effort by the Federal Department of Education to improve K-12 schools.  It was called the School Improvement Grants (SIG) and was funded at $3 Billion.  Even today that is a lot of money.

Here is the lede plus one:

Test scores, graduation rates and college enrollment were no different in schools that received money through the School Improvement Grants program — the largest federal investment ever targeted to failing schools — than in schools that did not.

The Education Department published the findings on the website of its research division on Wednesday, hours before President Obama’s political appointees walked out the door.

Here are four key paragraphs from the middle of the article (The "Duncan" mentioned is former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan):
Some education experts say that the administration closed its eyes to mounting evidence about the program’s problems in its own interim evaluations, which were released in the years after the first big infusion of cash.

The latest interim evaluation, released in 2015, found mixed results, with students at one-third of the schools showing no improvement or even sliding backward.

Even then, Duncan remained optimistic about the School Improvement Grants, which he said had — along with the Race to the Top grants — unleashed innovation across the country. Speaking about the two grant programs at a fast-improving high school in Boston in 2015, he argued that it would take time to see and measure their full effects.

“Here in Massachusetts, it actually took several years to see real improvement in some areas,” Duncan said at the time. “Scores were flat or even down in some subjects and grades for a while. Many people questioned whether the state should hit the brakes on change. But you had the courage to stick with it, and the results are clear to all.”

From the Department of Education Report we have these "Key Findings":
  • Although schools implementing SIG-funded models reported using more SIG- promoted practices than other schools, we found no evidence that SIG caused those schools to implement more practices. Our descriptive analysis found that schools implementing a SIG-funded model used significantly more SIG-promoted practices than other schools (22.8 of the 35 practices examined [65 percent] versus 20.3 practices [58 percent], a difference of 2.5 practices). Our more rigorous RDD analysis found a similar difference of 3.3 practices, but it was not statistically significant. Therefore, we are unable to conclude that SIG caused the observed difference in use of practices.
  • Across all study schools, use of SIG-promoted practices was highest in comprehensive instructional reform strategies and lowest in operational flexibility and support. In the comprehensive instructional reform strategies area, study schools reported using, on average, 7.1 of the 8 SIG-promoted practices examined (89 percent). In the operational flexibility and support area, study schools reported using, on average, 0.87 of the 2 SIG- promoted practices examined (43 percent).
  • There were no significant differences in use of English Language Learner (ELL)- focused practices between schools implementing a SIG-funded model and other schools.
  • Overall, across all grades, we found that implementing any SIG-funded model had no significant impacts on math or reading test scores, high school graduation, or college enrollment.
  • When we compared student achievement gains from different models in elementary grades (2nd through 5th), we found no evidence that one model was associated with larger gains than another. For higher grades (6th through 12th), the turnaround model was associated with larger student achievement gains in math than the transformation model. However, factors other than the SIG model implemented, such as baseline differences between schools implementing different models, may explain these differences in achievement gains.
So, what DO we do to improve our schools?  I am a layperson in this area, but having heard that the statistics show the number one indicator of success in life is if your natural parents are still married, I would think that the solution is not necessarily in the classroom.  Perhaps it is in the Living Room or Dining Room or Kitchen of the child's home.  How can we influence that environment, in order to influence learning, but do it without the heavy hand of Government falling on the family, which is the next to the smallest unit of government?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, January 20, 2017

Pictures From DC Today

For John, BLUFAn upbeat look at the Inauguration.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The source is Newsday

Some great photos.

Hat tip to my neighbor, Marie.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFI hope it goes well.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Congratulations to Mr Trump.

Great opportunities stand before him.  And thus before us.

But, for everyone it is a time to reflect on that fact that this is a four year term and not a life sentence.

I am reminded of this song from the show Kismet:

Princes come/Princes go. An hour of pomp and show./ They know. /Princes come/ And over the sands and over the sands of time./ They go./ Wise men come./Ever promising/the riddle of life to know./Wise men come./But over the sands./ The silent sands of time./ They go./Lovers come./Lovers go./And all that there is to know/Lovers know./Only lovers know.
So, my conclusion is to give the new President a chance and to remember that "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (Mark 12:31).

Regards  —  Cliff

  In the interest of full disclosure, the musical is based on the music of Alexander Borodin.
  That is the hard part, isn't it.  But, first you have to love yourself. 

The Next Four Years

For John, BLUFNew ideas to be discussed are usually a good thing.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

What Mr Trump Promises

As we look at Mr Trump becoming President, at noon today, the thing that stands out about his incoming Administration it what it offers in terms of how we look at things, foreign and domestic.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that she was not "transformational".

Mr Trump, by questioning received wisdom, has opened space for others to question the the status quo.  I have seen, in the area of foreign affairs and national security, in recent weeks, articles being published that offer alternatives views, other perceptions of threats, other options for proceeding.

If we are going to overcome our problems, recent and long term, we are going to have to have new thinking.  Mr Trump offers that opportunity.

Welcome, Mr Trump and congratulations.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Senator Waffle Warren Didn't Really Snub Nominee Betsy DeVos

For John, BLUFThere are not enough excuses to cover our Senior Senator.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Report by Mr Stephen Miller, at Heat Street.

The article points out how Republicans didn't realize that Senator Waffle Warren was merely using a very legitimate Indian Sign to acknowledge Ms Betsy DeVos.  The article puts it down to typical Republican insensitivity toward minorities.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hope for an Education Renaissance

For John, BLUFI'm for Betsy and you should be too.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From two days ago, Mr Tyler O'Neil, writing at Pajamas Media.

Rough summary, Some Black Leaders think that the schools are holding back Black children and something needs to be done.  There is hope that Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos can make a difference, if she clears the Senate.

It is almost like Ms Margaret Sanger has reincarnated herself as an education expert, and the result has been bad for the Black Community.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  It seems our Senior Senator, Waffle Warren, wouldn't even shake the nominee's hand.

The Right to Be Wrong

For John, BLUFOn the other hand, we need to fight such parties at the ballot box.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the International Herald Tribune (masquerading as The Old Gray Lady), by Reporter Melissa Eddyjan, yesterday.

The lede plus three:

BERLIN — Germany’s highest court rejected on Tuesday an attempt to ban the National Democratic Party, the country’s oldest far-right political organization, finding that it did not pose a danger to democracy even though its principles violate the Constitution.

The ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court came after years of deliberation and at a time of soul-searching in the country, where another right-wing party, Alternative for Germany, is poised for the first time to win representation in Parliament in national elections this year.

Although the National Democratic Party “pursues aims contrary to the Constitution,” there was a lack of “concrete supporting evidence” that the neo-Nazi party would be able to successfully achieve its goals and to pose a genuine threat, said Andreas Vosskuhle, the president of the court.

“That a party has aims that run contrary to the Constitution is not sufficient grounds for banning a party,” he said.

I think the court made the proper decision.  Let us not have any Herbert Marcuse like ideas about banning ideas we don't agree with.  That leads to stagnation, political, social and intellectual.

As someone said, the point of the First Amendment is the right to be wrong.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Just out of curiosity, is it now acceptable that we have a series of paragraphs that are one sentence each?  If so, what is the purpose of a "sentence"?

Joe Kennedy Speaks Truth to Power

For John, BLUFI kind of like this guy.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The Reporter for this Boston Herald story is Mr Bob McGovern, but the star is Joseph P Kennedy, III.

Here are the extracts that The InstaPundit selected:

U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III, breaking ranks with other Democrats who are trashing President-elect Donald Trump and boycotting his inaugural, is imploring his party’s rank and file to figure out why middle American voters went Republican in November.

“Somewhere along the way, we lost their trust.  We have to get it back,” Kennedy said tonight, departing from many in his party who have sought to cast blame for the loss elsewhere.

Kennedy rallied roughly 160 Democrats in a high school cafeteria in deep-blue Newton, giving a brief outline of what he sees as the future of his party.

An important step, he said, is to find out why people voted for Trump, rather than reacting to everything he posts on Twitter.

“The danger with going down that road is that it risks distracting us from what the core message was on November 7 and November 8,” Kennedy said.  “For some reason this time, they decided to trust Donald Trump with their vote.”

He said liberal voters need to find common ground with Trump supporters, and said berating them for their decision is the wrong way to win them back.  “Folks, we lost their trust and being mortified and mystified about their vote doesn’t bring it back,” he said.

The man is correct.  He has good advice and is offering it for free.

It is time for the Democrats to stop whinging about Russian President Vladimir Putin and to start thinking about how to win in 2018.

UPDATE:  Maybe they aren't ready to move on.  Politico said yesterday (Ms Lauren Dezenski) that the crowd wasn't hearing the message and turned on State Democratic Chairman Gus Bickford after Rep Kennedy left the room.

Hat tip to the InstaP undit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Being a Republican, I hope they don't figure it out, but being a square shooter I think they should at least have the truth passed under their nose.  That way they can't say we didn't tell them the truth.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Waffle Warren

For John, BLUFMaybe she is leading from behind.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Hill and Reporter Jordain Carney.

Here is the lede:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) blasted President-Elect Donald Trump on Monday for his criticism of Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.).
In case you missed it, Rep John Lewis, on one of the Sunday News Shows, called President Trump's election "illegitimate".  Mr Trump, defending his election as President, said that Rep John Lewis But, this is the key paragraph.  Our "straight shooting" Senator faltered.
Warren was pressed after her speech Monday on whether she agrees with Lewis that Trump is an illegitimate president, but sidestepped the question.
She waffled.  Having joined with Congress in approving the vote of the Electoral College, thus agreeing that President Elect Trump was legitimately elected, she turned coy.  She equivocated.  She dodged the question in true political fashion.  And, while she was unable to Confirm that she accepted Donald Trump as duly elected, she was equally unwilling to accept Rep Lewis' characterization of Mr Trump as illegitimate.

That said, The InstaPundit linked to a Boston Herald article from Yesterday, "Mass. Democrats talk up 'peaceful transfer of power' at MLK breakfast".  Here is the lede plus two:

The state's top Democratic leaders are defending their attendance at Donald Trump's inauguration Friday, confident a show of their faces will not be mistaken as a show of support for the president-elect.

"I don't think there's anyone who's going to be confused about where I stand," a smiling U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren said today.

"This is about orderly transfer of power. I will be there. I feel like it's my job to be there," said Warren, arguably the Democratic Party's go-to attack dog where Trump is concerned, after speaking at the 47th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

Yes, I am confused.  Does she think a President Trump is legitimate or does she not?  Only her hairdresser knows.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Classic reference.

Election Meddling

For John, BLUFOf course other nations will have in interest in our elections.  We are who we are.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The author is Law Professor Charlie Dunlap, JD, and the publication date (at Duke University's Lawfire Blog) is 15 January 2017.

Here is the lede:

Americans are rightly (and almost literally) up in arms about the intelligence community’s (IC) report that Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin tried to influence the U.S. presidential election.
Professor Dunlap then goes on to point out that others offered to intervene in our election or may have actually intervened.  For example, the Italian Prime Minister back in March 2016.

Here is how the Blog Post wraps up.

Again, we need to continue a deep dive into Russian activities – Americans understandably see Russia as a threat – but we ought not to naively assume that they were the only country who might have wanted to shape the outcome of our election.  Only by having all the facts out in the proverbial sunlight can we build an architecture that helps ensure that the outcomes of American elections are free of problematic foreign influences.
Regards  —  Cliff

  Which is only fair, given how, after WWII we stuck our oar in Italian elections.
  Not just the Italians.  Mrs Clinton said, at the time, "I am already receiving messages from leaders ­– I’m having foreign leaders ask if they can endorse me to stop Donald Trump."

Monday, January 16, 2017

Sometimes it is On Management

For John, BLUFWe need to always be asking questions.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Toyota vs GM

A friend of mine just sent this along:
Here's something else to think about:  GM has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US , claiming they can't make money paying American wages.

TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US.

The last year's results:

TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while GM racked up 9 billion in losses.
GM folks are still scratching their heads, and collecting bonuses...
OK, maybe it is all about the labor unions, but I doubt it.

Maybe it is because Toyota learned, after WWII, from American methods, while GM learned nothing.  Maybe we should have paid attention to American expert Edwards Deming.

If you aren't learning you are falling behind.

Regards  —  Cliff

An Alternative View

For John, BLUFSome folks are looking for change and hope and see Mr Trump as the source.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

By Mr Jeffrey Tucker, writing for the Foundation for Economic Education.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Former Presidential Candidate O'Malley Calls for Revolution

For John, BLUFWhat happened to the idea of civility?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Is this the way it is going to be for the next number of years?

So, we have a former Governor of Maryland, Martin O'Malley, in whose state, a few months after he left office a Mr Freddie Gray died in police custody, resulting in riots in Charm City.

One would think that with that series of events Governor O'Malley would walk (and talk) humbly.  That he would understand that within his own state, soon after his departure, there was rioting that suggested the People felt the Government was being abusive to the People.

I recommend to Governor O'Malley that he consider Micah 6:8

You have been told, O mortal, what is good,
and what the LORD requires of you:
Only to do justice and to love goodness,
and to walk humbly with your God.
Here is the Blog Post on this tweet from Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Using the Obama Criteria, the previous occupant is responsible for problems at least out eight years after leaving office (or one year for each year in office—Mr Martin O'Malley served eight years as Governor).

Sun Editorial Shames Our Congressional Delegation

For John, BLUFAnother failure on the part of the President.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Today's Lowell Sun Editorial nails it.

Here is an extract from the Editorial:

Sadly, Massachusetts' House delegation of nine Democrats voted 4-4 on the resolution (one voted "not present") showing its own lack of unity "to have Israel's back" — famous words once uttered by the hypocrite Obama.  Those turning their backs on Israel are U.S. Reps. Niki Tsongas, Catherine Clark, Jim McGovern and Stephen Lynch.

Only time will tell whether Israeli officials will keep their economic and research commitments to Massachusetts, but who can blame them if they don't following this shameful display of anti-Jewish sentiment from lawmakers who know better.

I am fully with the Editor on this.

Regards  —  Cliff

Now What, Rep Lewis?

TRIGGER WARNING:  In which I call the bluff of the "never Trump" crowd.

For John, BLUFThe Democrats have be-clowned themselves over Mr Trump.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is an interview on Meet the Press today.  The linked article was by Reporters Chuck Todd, Sally Bronston and Matt Rivera.

Yes, Representative John Lewis earned his place our history by his strength and courage in Selma, back in early 1965.

Here is the lede to the story and the next three paragraphs:

In an exclusive interview with NBC News' "Meet the Press," Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., said he does not believe Donald Trump is a "legitimate president," citing Russian interference in last year's election.

Asked whether he would try to forge a relationship with the president-elect, Lewis said that he believes in forgiveness, but added, "it's going to be very difficult.  I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president."

When pressed to explain why, he cited allegations of Russian hacks during the campaign that led to the release of internal documents from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign co-chairman, John Podesta.

"I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. v And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton," Lewis told NBC News.

In the video at the above link Rep Lewis talks to how the Russians were a threat to our "open democratic process".

OK, so far so good.  Now the question is the "so what".

Is this about Representative John Lewis pouting or is this about dealing with a threat to our "open democratic process"?

And, apparently, Reporter Chuck Todd didn't think to ask the question.

So, we have Members of Congress, including Rep John Lewis, Democrat from Georgia, who think our system has been subverted.  What is their solution to this problem?  Since these Members of Congress were unable to effect change on 6 January, when Congress counted the electoral college votes, what is their next move?

If this is serious business, and it must be for folks to use terms like illegitimate, then there must be a path to a solution, a solution acceptable to the majority of the American People.  I would like to suggest to Rep Lewis the following options:

  1. A coup between now and noon on Friday, preventing Mr Trump from being sworn in.  Probably needs the President's acquiescence.
  2. Promise that immediately on the afternoon of the 20th, Rep Lewis will introduce a Bill of Impeachment of the new President.
  3. Lay low for six months and then if there are Presidential glitches someone introduce a Bill of Impeachment.
  4. Obstruct all legislative activity until the Republicans capitulate and (do what?).  How could this probably go wrong?
  5. Learn to live with it and learn to turn lemons into lemonade, realizing that this too shall pass and they will get another shot in 2018, if they don't make a hash of it right now.
In the mean time I am embarrassed for the Democrats.

And worry about the comity that is needed for our Republic to sustain itself for another couple of hundred years.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Full disclosure, I was stationed at Craig AFB, just across the Cahaba River from downtown Selma during the Freedom March.
  There goes his shot at the Reporters Hall of Fame.
  Others like Representative Jim McGovern from Massachusetts.
  Here is a quick rundown on the process from Time Magazine.
  Led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Lying is Wrong.  Anywhere

For John, BLUFI hope the City will do this for me if the License Commission is taken to court.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Thank God!

This is from The Orange County Weekly.  The Reporter is Mr Scott Moxley and the Dateline is 6 January 2017.

Here is the sub-headline:

Using taxpayer funds, government officials in Orange County have spent the last 16 years arguing the most absurd legal proposition in the entire nation:  How could social workers have known it was wrong to lie, falsify records and hide exculpatory evidence in 2000 so that a judge would forcibly take two young daughters from their mother for six-and-a-half years?
Here is the lede plus one:
From the you-can't-make-up-this-crap file, county officials are paying Lynberg & Watkins, a private Southern California law firm specializing in defending cops in excessive force lawsuits, untold sums to claim the social workers couldn't have "clearly" known that dishonesty wasn't acceptable in court and, as a back up, even if they did know, they should enjoy immunity for their misdeeds because they were government employees.

A panel at the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit this week ruled on Orange County's appeal of federal judge Josephine L. Staton's refusal last year to grant immunity to the bureaucrats in Preslie Hardwick v. County of Orange, a lawsuit seeking millions of dollars in damages.  In short, judges Stephen S. Trott, John B. Owens and Michelle T. Friedland were not amused. They affirmed Staton's decision.

If you go to the link you will see the exchange between the lawyers.

And note that this goes back to 2000.  That would be back sixteen (16) years.  One wonders if the bureaucrats have now learned to tell the truth?

And people wonder why Mr Trump won?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Burning a Synagogue

For John, BLUFThis is a stupid decision, one that will come back to bite them.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

And the sub headline:
A regional court in Germany has decided that a brutal attempt to set fire to a local synagogue in 2014 was an act meant to express criticism against Israel's conduct in its ongoing conflict with Gaza
The source is The Jerusalem Post and the Reporter is Mr Benjamin Weinthal.  The dateline is 13 January 2017.

Here is the lede plus one:

German regional court in the city of Wuppertal affirmed a lower court decision last Friday stating that a violent attempt to burn the city's synagogue by three men in 2014 was a justified expression of criticism of Israel’s policies.

Johannes Pinnel, a spokesman for the regional court in Wuppertal, outlined the court’s decision in a statement. Three German Palestinians sought to torch the Wuppertal synagogue with Molotov cocktails in July, 2014.  The local Wuppertal court panel said in its 2015 decision that the three men wanted to draw “attention to the Gaza conflict” with Israel.  The court deemed the attack not to be motivated by antisemitism.

I am assuming if the perps had been Germans it would have been recognized as antisemitism.  Perhaps Palestinians are not capable of antisemitism.

I like this little bit of irony:

The attack caused €800 damage to the synagogue.  The original synagogue in Wuppertal was burned by Germans during the Kristallnacht pogroms in 1938.  Wuppertal has a population of nearly 344,000 and is located in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

What if the attack had succeeded and the synagogue had burned to the ground?  Would the German Regional Court have come up with a different view of the attack?  With a different punishment?

Hat tip to the drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

  There seems to be a theory in circulation that some groups are not capable of hate or prejudice, since they have suffered hate or prejudice.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Out in the Open

For John, BLUFRep John Lewis accidentally blurted out what seems to be the view of many Democrats.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Rep. John Lewis:  Trump isn't a 'legitimate president'

The source is The Hill, written by Reporter Brooke Seipel.

Here is the lede plus one:

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) doesn't plan to attend President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration next week, saying he doesn’t believe Trump is a "legitimate president."

"I believe in forgiveness. I believe in trying to work with people. It will be hard. It's going to be very difficult. I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president,” Lewis said in an interview for NBC News's "Meet the Press."

If a large segment of the population believes Mr Trump is not a legitimate president (elect) we are going to have trouble in our Republic.

And then the question is, what is the solution that would satisfy the Democrats?  And would it also satisfy those who voted for Mr Trump?

It is time for everyone to take deep breath and move on to 20 January and the swearing in of Mr Trump as our next President.

Regards  —  Cliff

No More "Feet Dry" Immigration Exception

For John, BLUFI guess if it makes Raul Castro happy it is OK.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

It is from Yahoo News and the Reporter is Ms Patricia Zengerle (well, Reuters).
The Obama administration said on Thursday it was repealing a measure granting automatic residency to virtually every Cuban who arrived in the United States, whether or not they had visas, ending a longstanding exception to U.S. immigration policy.

The end of the "wet foot, dry foot" policy, which allowed any Cuban who reached U.S. soil to stay but returned any picked up at sea, is effective immediately. Cuban officials had sought the change for years.

(My link there, not that of Yahoo or Reuters.) We are doing this to improve relations with Cuba?  What are they doing?

This is another bad decision taken just before the sun sets on the Obama Administration.  And it seems a poke in the eye at those Cubans in America who vote Republican.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff