Tag Archives: Trump

What About Bob?

    Ever since Trump’s surprise victory over Hillary there has been a concerted effort to get rid of the guy.  They were convinced he could not have done it without help from somebody.  Of course, it was obvious that the famous stolen emails from Hillary and the DNC played a large role.  Initially it was reported that at least 5 foreign governments had all broken into the totally unsecure computers. Then John Brennan, Director of the CIA and James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence said no, it was the Russians. Both of these guys were appointed by Obama and had total control of all the various intelligence organizations.  The much-touted line that all 17 of the intelligence operations agreed that the Russians did it is meaningless because these two yahoos controlled them all!

    Clapper and Brennan got to show their true colors when after leaving government went on to serve as “experts” for anti-Trump TV networks.  Brennan went to MSNBC and famously called Trump a traitor. Clapper, who once lied in testimony to Congress and later admitted it, went to CNN.  Both former Obama appointees frequently accused the President of having colluded with the Russians to steal the election.

    The appointment of Bob Mueller as Special Counsel, the Democrats believed, would get rid of Trump.  Over two years and $35 million dollars later, staffed with a collection of blood-thirsty Hillary supporting Democrat prosecutors concluded that there was no collusion.  On the issue of obstruction they left some wiggle room although it seemed impossible to obstruct an investigation into a non-crime.  Democrats decided that if they could get Mueller to say he thought Trump obstructed justice that they could have grounds for impeachment.  They brought him in to testify before Congress.

    Mueller’s performance was, to say the least, pitiful.  He clearly knew little about the whole investigation and had obviously just been a figurehead.  It was a total bust for the Democrats and that it became obvious he did not write the report and seemed totally oblivious to the highly partisan leanings of his committee.

    Then suddenly Bob Mueller disappeared from the anti-Trump talk shows of CNN and MSNBC and the other media outlets.  It was like heroic Bob never existed.  Now the Republicans wanted to know how this whole false story got started in the first place and that might raise some embarrassing questions before the next election.  No one on the left wanted to mention Russia.

    The brain trust of the Democrat party came up with a new strategy to damage Trump.  He’s a racist!  The Democrats have relied on the black vote to lead to electoral success.  They routinely get 90 to 95% of the black vote.  All major cities have Democrat mayors.  As retired basketball superstar, Charles Barkley said a few years ago, “Blacks have been voting for Democrats for their whole lives and they are still poor.” Indeed, anyone courageous enough to drive through the inner city of any major US city will soon discover what a hopeless mess they are.

    Trump’s policies have helped these folks and they noticed. Black support for Trump has grown and this worries Democrats.  Hence the constant cries that he is a racist.  As a famous Nazi propagandist named Goebbels once said, “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth.”  Democrats need to keep that black vote to succeed and the loss of even 10% support scares the shit out of them.

    Trump needs to continue to go after the black vote by campaigning in black communities and doing some new programs like establishing trade schools in the inner cities.  Inner city schools are awful.  The teachers unions obstruct any effort to improve them but why can’t the administration set up some federally funded trade schools?

    The Department of Education has a budget of $68 billion and has 4000 employees.  Since the DOE does not educate a single child, what the Hell do they do?  Surely the administration could slash the paperwork and whole departments and have lots of cash left to fund trade schools.  Teach these hopeless kids to be welders, plumbers, carpenters, etc. and give them some skills to find a job.  Blacks would notice.

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Revenge of the Swamp

Well, the Democrats regained the House and will effectively put an end to Trump’s program to drain the swamp.  I expect nothing of consequence will get done in the next two years.  I think vengeful Democrats will keep Trump busy with one investigation after another and may even seek impeachment.  The Mueller report is sure to include enough bullshit and spin as to encourage Democrats to go after impeachment, even though they are sure they will never  get a conviction in the Senate.  It will, however, generate much breathless news coverage by their allies in the media.

The Democrats are experts at the combat of politics, you have to give them credit for that.  The last two years has been an exercise in resistance and attack.  The Professional Left has been more than willing participants in this campaign.  The media, Hollywood, pro- abortion groups and environmentalists have joined in attacking Trump.  Of course, Trump plays right into their hands with his outrageous tweets and bombastic statements. His instincts are that of a Brooklyn street brawler and it doesn’t play well with many Republicans who, while enjoying some of his achievements, find his behavior distasteful.

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In the mid-terms the Democrats were smart in selecting people to run who had a military background and professed more conservative views.  Among many moderate or conservative positions, most notable was that, if elected, they would not vote for Pelosi for Speaker.  The first test of their truthfulness will be the Pelosi vote for Speaker.

The other factor was the energy on the Democrat side.  The motivation to get out the vote and take back the House was strong, and women in particular are turned off by Trump, and they voted for the Democrats in strong numbers.  Hatred is a strong motivator.  Witness the Woman’s March held the weekend after Trump’s inauguration.  The hatred was palpable.  More recently, angry groups harassed cabinet members and Senators while they were out dining with their wives.  The left thinks it perfectly fine to shout down conservative speakers at speeches at universities.

The GOP candidates and Trump failed to communicate their achievements in their messaging, particularly by the national party.  Yes, they got the tax cuts through and cutting regulations and taxes spurred the economy to record highs.  But that was only the beginning.  Trump put the brakes on the out-of-control EPA.  Trump’s EPA ended the war on coal, axed the Obama Administration over-the-top car emissions rules, and reversed the Waters of the US rule that essentially gave the EPA control of every damp spot in the US.  The Interior Department proposed major changes to the Endangered Species Act that gave relief to tens of thousands of landowners. The western states should have been especially happy with both of those, but the GOP did little to tout them.

With tax cuts and a booming economy, two new Supremes and dozens of judges, plus the regulatory relief above, you would think that the message would have been clear.  But the GOP did not have a unified message and it was insufficient against the tide of anger and hate from the left.

Just think about how effective the Democrat strategy was on the eve of Trump’s election victory.  High-ranking Justice Department and FBI officials in the Obama administration, who were big supporters of Hillary, decided to promote the narrative that Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the election.  Democrats were quick to pile on to this excuse.   They managed to get a Special Prosecutor appointed who was a dedicated swamp dweller and he appointed almost all highly aggressive Democrat prosecutors to his staff.

This would have two purposes:  First, it would slow down Trump and keep up the narrative that he had somehow succeeded in stealing the election.  Also, and more importantly, it would insure that nothing would be done on the real culprit in election skullduggery committed by the Democrats and Hillary campaign.  It would also delay looking into the obvious issues with Hillary’s illegal server and the massive pay-for-play scheme of the Clinton Foundation.  Exposing all that shit would dog the Democrats for a generation.

The Democrats hoped to stall that exposure until the mid-terms when they hoped to regain Congress and then they could bury it.   It worked.

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The Wall

All during the Trump campaign every speech included his promise to build a wall on the southern border. As President, he continues to vow to build it. Of course, the Democrats hate the idea and argue that it would not be effective and would cost too much.

The history of walls is long and rich. Perhaps the oldest are the walls of Jericho, but certainly the most famous is the Great Wall of China. Built beginning during the reign of Emperor Qin Shi Haung in 259 BC and continuing for centuries the wall spanned 5,500 miles. Originally conceived to keep out the marauding tribes from the north it also served to collect taxes and fees from the Silk Road trade.

Hadrian’s Wall was ordered by Roman emperor Hadrian in AD 122 and represented the furthest extreme of the Roman expansion in Europe.  It spanned the island from sea to sea some 60 miles south of the now
England/Scotland border. The purpose was to keep the crazy Picts from terrorizing the more civilized folks to the south.

Numerous examples of successful walls exist but a couple more include the wall around the Kremlin and the wall completely spanning Manhattan Island built by the Dutch to keep out the Native tribes. Guess where the name “Wall Street” came from?

Most walls are intended to keep the enemy out, but the Berlin Wall was intended to keep its citizens inside. The lure of the modern and prosperous West Germany served as a great motivator for the captives to escape the misery of East Germany. People risked their lives and often lost them in trying to escape.

North Korea also built a wall to keep its hapless citizens inside at the DMZ separating North and South Korea.

Two recent examples are the West Bank Barrier between Israel and the Palestinians on the West Bank. It has been very effective in nearly eliminating the terrorist attacks. More recently, the Hungarian Border Wall has been constructed to stop the flood of migrants from Syria and Africa that are inundating Europe and threatening the culture of European countries.

The argument that the wall would cost too much does not make much sense either when compared to the cost to society for all the costs of supporting the illegals like educating illegal youth, health care and welfare, not to mention crime. The Trump/GOP tax plan that was just enacted has prompted Apple to repatriate some $250 billion dollars. They are paying an additional $48 billion in taxes on that money. Part of that windfall would make a nice down payment on a wall.

We can never know how effective these ancient walls were in achieving their purpose but the modern examples; Berlin, West Bank and Hungarian were very effective. The Democrat argument that the wall will do nothing to retard the flow of illegals and drugs across our southern border is self-serving at best. The truth is Democrats cynically want illegals because they are counting on them to become loyal Democrat voters.

When your boat has a leak far from shore it makes sense to try to stop the leak before bailing. Otherwise, you fight a losing battle. The fact that some of these yahoos have been deported five, six or more times suggests that the leak is pretty serious. Build a wall to stop the leakage and then start bailing some of the undesirables out.

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The Swamp

“When you’re up to your ass in alligators it’s difficult to remember that your original objective was to drain the swamp.”
Author unknown

Donald Trump came to Washington to “drain the swamp”. He’s finding it extraordinarily difficult to get it done. It turns out that the denizens of the swamp are fighting desperately to prevent it. And why not? It is one sweet deal for the swamp dwellers.

The four counties surrounding the White House are the wealthiest in the nation, surpassing LA and NYC. According to the NYT (5/12/17) there are 34 billionaires within a 25 mile radius of downtown and 2,049 residents worth more than 30 million, 45% of the workers earn more than $100,000 per year.

So who are these people and what do they do? According to Atlantic Monthly (12/18/13) they are lawyers, defense contractors, doctors and computer geeks. Mostly, they are lobbyists. In 2017 there are 34,700 registered lobbyists in Washington and among them 4,000 tax lobbyists.  They represent everything from large multi-national corporations to non-profits, unions and every manner of special interest groups.

Money is the lubricant that keeps the Washington machine running and there is lots of it devoted to lobbying. In the last decade corporations spent $14.4 billion and $2.4 billion on tax lobbying. The revolving door of government…. Retiring from government office and turning to lobbying your former colleagues can prove to be a very cushy retirement program indeed. Former Senators Breaux and Trent Lott put together a little lobbying team and netted $39.6 million in fees since 2008. The Podesta Group pulled in $32.3 million and former White House Chief of Staff Ken Duberstein a piddling $29.2 million.

Congress is the other major group that does not want their comfortable swamp existence disturbed. There are 53 members who have held office for more than 40 years. Democrats have the distinction of having the top 17 with the longest time in Congress and despite having an approval rating with the public that is consistently around 10%, most get re-elected at an unbelievable rate. In the Senate it’s generally 90% and the House in the high 90s with 98% not uncommon.

So why would these guys fight to stay in office for what seems like relatively modest pay ($174,000 per year)? Simple. It’s the other stuff.

First, they get 239 days off. (Yeah, I know. They are back in their districts serving their constituents or maybe servicing their interns.) They have a generous allowance to manage their office and pay their staff. House members all receive $944,671 per year for this while Senators have an average of about $3 million. It’s slightly less or more depending on the population of the state.

Of course, there are other perks such as free gym, free deluxe parking at Reagan International (annual cost to taxpayers $740,000), many free flights and subsidies of 72% for health care under ObamaCare. Ever wonder why they are not too enthusiastic about repeal?

Retirement program is pretty nice too. Members need at least five years of service and must be at least 62 years old to receive a pension or 50 years old with 20 years of service. Depending on the number of years it can be up to 80% of their base salary.

The biggie though in my opinion is the weakened insider trading rules for members of congress and their staffs. For years members could trade in stocks with inside knowledge. How do you think all these guys become millionaires? For example, a CEO is having lunch with a member of congress ostensibly discussing a certain tax break that would benefit his company. He “accidentally” lets it slip that he is going to announce the takeover of a rival company meaning the stock price of that company is going to go up. The Congressman quietly buys shares of the target company and bingo, quick profit. Same deal and even more lucrative in the case of initial public offerings.

In 2012, an election year, Peter Schweizer, who had authored a book called “Throw Them All Out” went on 60 Minutes and exposed this scam. An embarrassed Congress publicly passed the STOCK Act to prohibit this practice. After the election they secretly and very quietly pulled the teeth of the restrictions and it was back to business as usual.

I guess if you’re a member of congress that’s been around for 40 years and some bombastic businessman comes in a says he’s gonna drain the swamp you would probably just say “why?” If they had wanted it drained they’d have done it already. Of course the Democrats are not going to vote for anything proposed by Trump. They have been on an unbelievable losing streak for a long time now and with the same leadership cannot imagine doing anything differently. Also, they still cannot believe Hillary lost but bitterness is not a policy prescription.

Many Republicans are no different. They like things just fine the way they are and resent Trump’s boorish, arrogant style. He said some nasty things to several of the Senators during the presidential primary so there’s a bit of payback going on. In addition, if Trump’s agenda gets passed and is successful he might be re-elected and a few of these fellows still lust after the Presidency and they don’t want to wait seven more years for a go.

Trump has had no legislative successes. The GOP attempts to repeal and replace ObamaCare failed and the tax cut proposals will likely suffer the same fate. GOP defections are the problem. The only accomplishment was the confirmation of Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. The Democrats did not fight hard on that one because he was replacing a conservative. The next one will be a battle royal. All other successes for the new Trump administration have been by Executive Orders. He approved the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines; permitted fracking; allowed energy development on public lands and ended the war on coal by repealing the Obama Clean Power Plan.

In addition, Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement, the Global Climate Change Green Fund and the Climate Investment Funds, all expensive sops for the global warming crowd. Trump’s EPA also voided the Waters of the US rule, an Obama-era power grab that essentially put every ditch and wet spot in the US under federal jurisdiction. Good riddance.

Government jobs outnumber manufacturing jobs. 9,890,000 people work for the government. So far in 2017 13,000 federal jobs have been eliminated but 7,000 state and local jobs added. Trump’s businessmen oriented cabinet has also been chopping away at the deadwood in the big government bureaucracies. Trump wants to cut $54 billion out of the government agencies. According to a Scientific American article (3/16/17) the Trump budget proposes cutting funding to the EPA by 31%, the Energy Department by 5.6%, Interior by 12% and the State Department by 28%. Former Exon CEO Tillerson and now Secretary of State is finishing up a reorganization plan for State that will seriously downsize this bloated agency.

As everyone can understand, anyone facing the ax from their cushy job is unhappy about what Trump is trying to do. It is no wonder that the Administration leaks like a rotten wooden boat.

It will be fascinating to see whether Trump or the alligators win this one. I’m betting on the alligators.

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