What Norms and Which Institutions?


While Hillary Clinton eventually conceded the 2016 election to Donald Trump, she and her enablers/allies among the Democrats, Media, and Deep State spent four years peddling lies about Russia! Russia! Russia!, the Mueller investigation, an impeachment falsely accusing Trump of doing the sort of thing Biden actually did, and more.

It’s 2020, and Trump is using litigation and other processes prescribed by law to challenge apparent fraud in the election. A significant portion of politicians and the media say the President’s insistence that the game be played by The Rules is a threat to “our norms and institutions.”

Well, yes, it is.

It was Trump’s pledge to drain the swamp of a grifting Elite whose norms and institutions force one set of rules on the Deplorables but are not binding on themselves that led to his winning in 2016. I was Trumps modest success in beginning to drain the swamp that led a sufficiently large majority of voters to support him that the logistical planning for stealing the election was overwhelmed, causing the shutdown of vote counts and mad scramble for extra ballots in various places around the country.

America’s constitutional DNA assumes that men are fallible, so our system is rigged with checks and balances as a form of immune system. Thus far, we’ve been able to through off infections from various tyrannies. I hope we survive this time.

The Next 69 Days


There are 69 days remaining before the next presidential inauguration ceremony. Regardless of who takes the oath next January, there are certain things that I believe Donald Trump should do to close out this term.

First, he should work with Senator McConnell to fill any remaining vacancies in the federal judiciary.

Second, he should direct his appointees in the various agencies to complete the finalization of the rule making process on any pending elimination or improvement of federal regulations.

Third, he should declassify and publish by executive order all information and documents held by any federal government entity related to the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation, the Mueller investigation, and Hunter Biden’s laptop.

Fourth, he should pardon Joe Biden for any criminal acts performed while Biden was Vice President, but not for any actions before or after his service in that office.

Exposing Rot


There’s a post by Ben Weingarten over at American Greatness about what he sees as Trump’s Greatest Achievement: Trump has exposed the  rot and corruption that pervades the American system.

For four years, President Trump has achieved major victories in the face of this opposition, making the country richer and stronger than it was when he assumed office.

But his greatest achievement has been boldly and courageously standing up to this wounded bear of a ruling class, which has now shown America its true face. Americans’ eyes are now irrevocably open to what has become of their country, and what must be overcome to take it back.

President Trump’s predecessors—Truman on the bureaucracy, or Eisenhower on the military-industrial complex, or Nixon on the corrupted media—scratched the surface of the challenges we face. But none exposed it so openly, and in such breadth and depth.

If the history is written by the ultimate victors—and the house almost always wins—it may well be that this entire story is missed. Certainly, it will be misrepresented, warped, and glossed over in the most outrageous of ways. It will probably be censored too.

Nevertheless, we must write it: For posterity, and for our fellow countrymen, in the here and now, more motivated than ever before to reclaim this land we love.

As Andrew Breitbart noted, politics is downstream from culture, and over the last six or so decades, the credentialed middle class has become more disconnected from the bulk of American society and began to view themselves as superior to the deplorables whose lives they rule by virtue of their positions in the bureaucracy, the media, and certain privileged professions.

Charles Murray pointed out in his book Coming Apart that as Our Betters led American society away from such virtues as marriage, industriousness, religiosity, and honesty, they still held on to some of those virtues themselves. College educated folks are now significantly more likely to marry and stay married, raising children in intact families, than are the population as whole. They work hard, often administrating or enabling the welfare state. They tend to have a religious focus for their lives—if not a traditional religion, then some marxist replacement. But they have given up on the epistemological underpinnings of Western logic, so they often view Truth as malleable, making consistently honest behavior unlikely if not impossible.

Trump pulled the bandage off the scab. Will we properly treat the wound?

BTW, the link above will take you to Amazon’s listing for Coming Apart. As an Amazon Associate, I can earn from qualifying purchases.

Who Won?


When I first checked this poll, Biden was ahead with about 56 %. I checked it again about an hour after the debate ended and found this.

BTW, abc7 dot com is the website for KABC-TV in Los Angeles. That suggests these poll numbers are mostly driven by California voters.

UPDATE— As I was about to hit the PUBLISH button, I checked the poll again. Trump was up to 56 %, and the percentage of vote switchers was up to 6 %.

Hmmmmm.

Anecdotal Data


During a drive through western Maryland yesterday, I saw 14 houses with Biden yard signs or banners.

I saw 27 houses with Trump signs or banners or flags.

I saw an additional 18 houses with Trump paraphernalia and American flags. There were dozens of other houses also displaying American flags, but not a single one had any Biden signage.

UPDATE—During a drive through suburban/urban Maryland this morning I saw 23 houses with Biden yard signs or banners, and three of them also displayed American flags. I saw 11 houses with Trump signs or flags, and four of them displayed American flags.

Taking the two trips together, that’s 37 houses displaying support for Biden and 56 for Trump—in Maryland, a state that Hillary carried with a 26 % margin in 2016. I find the 3:29 ratio of American flags between Biden and Trump supporters interesting as well.

Hidin’ Biden’s Sidekick


Becca Lower has a post over at Red State that asks these questions—

“Where’s Kamala Harris?” Surely she wasn’t practicing up for her sole debate against Vice President Pence in early October. Notice that the media was completely consumed with defending Biden’s AWOL act — and no one was asking about his running mate’s whereabouts. Why the lid for Harris, too?

Harris is a weak candidate who dropped out without receiving a single caucus or primary vote, before any were even cast. Given that she was so off-putting that she couldn’t gin up a following among core Democrat voters last year, it’s not surprising that the Democrats want to keep her hidden from the public.

OTOH, if the Democrats win this November, the probability of Harris becoming President sometime the next term is essentially 1.000. That being the case, the voters would be better served if Harris replaces Biden in the debates with Trump.

A Job Opening


There’s a vacancy on the Supreme Court because of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I could join in the analysis, but while I was getting a good night’s sleep, Bookworm Room put up a post that says pretty much what I think about the situation. I’ll add these few thoughts:

I believe that the President should nominate a new justice to the court quickly and that the Senate should confirm the new justice expeditiously, before the election. The court should be intact in case it is called upon to handle election recount issues similar to Bush v. Gore. Joe Biden could try to take that issue off the table by promising not to engage in the kind of vote harvesting and election theft the Democrats are obviously planning for this November, but it would be foolish for President Trump and Senator McConnell to trust such a promise. The President and the Senate should act to eliminate the possibility of a 4-4 decision by the Court.

Or maybe not. The court is now 5-3. The Chief Justice might be a reliable vote if he is concerned about the Democrats’ threats to engage in court packing.

Things are about to get interesting.

Yes, In One Sense It’s Donald Trump’s America


And Donald Trump’s America contains the following:

Kate Brown’s Oregon which contains
Ted Wheeler’s Portland

Jay Insee’s Washington which contains
Jenny Durkan’s Seattle

Gavin Newsom’ California which contains
Eric Garcetti’s Los Angeles and
London Breed’s San Francisco

J. B. Pritzker’s Illinois which contains
Lori Lightfoot’s Chicago

Andrew Cuomo’s New York which contains
Bill de Blasio’s New York City

Tony Evers’ Wisconsin which contains
John Antaramian’s Kenosha

In fact, Trump’s America contains 50 states with thousands of their own political subdivisions over which the President of the United States has no direct control of local affairs—but the local elected officials should. Whether local officials do or not exercise control or whether they are effective or not is generally not a federal question.

The Democrats v. Reality


I found this comment in a review of the second night of the Republican Convention in a post by cccc Liel Leibovitz at Tablet.

This is not to say that watching both conventions will get a sizable number of voters to stop worrying and learn to love Donald Trump. But it is to say that it’s becoming increasingly more clear that the Democrats’ real problem isn’t the party’s aging candidate or its rambunctious left flank but, rather, its relationship with reality itself.

Yep.

Recycling Campaign Slogans


Now that Joe Biden’s handlers have picked his VP nominee, it’s clear that they aren’t planning on an effective move toward the political center. While Kamala Harris isn’t a top pick for the AOC/Bernie wing of the party, she’s no moderate. Indeed, she’s distinctly to the left of Biden, and adding her to the ticket increases the contrast between the Biden and Trump campaigns. We’re being offered (as Barry Goldwater’s losing campaign put it) A Choice Not An Echo.

Perhaps the Trump campaign should recycle the winning 1920 slogan of A Return to Normalcy.

Readjusting the Overton Window


The Overton Window is the range of ideas which are considered acceptable for public consideration and debate. It moves around as the climate of public opinion changes.

President Trump’s speech at Mt. Rushmore was an attempt to move the window upward to include a more respectful view of the Enlightenment principles generally held by the Founding Fathers and away from the Postmodern Neo-marxist worldview underpinning much of the turbulence in America these days. I hope he was successful. I’m not sure that he was. Oh, he did a fine job of rallying the people who already agree with him, but he was preaching to the choir.

Let me extend that metaphor a bit. I’m not sure how effective he was as an evangelist, one who brings good news to the unconverted. There are a large number of Americans who have come to believe the marxist fallacy that everything can be defined as a power struggle among various identity groups, and that someone else’s is the result of privilege and oppression. They want what they see as their turn controlling the levers of power, and many of them are willing to tear down the current system in order to change things.

What many of them don’t understand is the difference between the ideals of the American Revolution and so many others—the people have granted power to the government so it may serve them not rule over them. Those who wish to be change things so that they can become part a new ruling class need to look at the history of those other revolutions. Only a few of the revolutionaries become part of the nomenklatura, and even fewer make it into the Inner Party. The rest become the proles in a failing society.

The good news these folks need to hear is that the American Revolution produced a melting pot society where everyone’s positive contribution has a chance to prosper. It’s not a perfect society, but it’s the best humanity has come up with to date. Events such as the Minneapolis riots or the failure of Antifastan in Seattle are hitting some with a dose of Reality that may show them the folly of their worldview.

It will be interesting to see how they react.

Meanwhile, I hope President’s speech successfully framed some of the questions to be considered by the public between now and the Third of November.

Good Advice—From China


My training as a military officer included reading Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. The most famous quote from that ancient Chinese classic is probably

是故勝兵先勝而後求戰,敗兵先戰而後求勝。Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.

Patricia McCarthy has a post over at The American Thinker titled The unbearable pettiness of the Washington press corps which looks at the disrespectful manner in which the press treats Donald Trump at the manner in which the President turns their futile behavior back on them, especially during the Wuhan virus pandemic briefings. Throughout her piece, she quotes Sun Tzu.

What makes these briefings so entertaining is when the president calls them out for their dishonesty.  He has a steel-trap mind and remembers what he has said.  When they twist or edit his words, he knows it and humiliates them.  But they seem not to realize they are being humiliated.

President Trump has been teaching us all.  It is only the men and women of the media who fail to learn.  Donald Trump, as John Perazzo has written, is a superb and unappreciated president.

“Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate.” —Sun Tzu

This is that moment.

Read the whole thing. I’ll add this—

上兵伐謀 What is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy’s strategy.

The Art of War is available from Amazon.

CPAC 2020, Day Two


There’s a lot of speechifying at CPAC, and some of it’s worth hearing, but I spend most of my time networking and developing background information for future posts. I spent most of my time today on the floor of the exhibit hall, on broadcast row (where talk radio outlets are set up doing interviews), and in the lobby bar. One recurring theme I heard today was about outreach to minority voters and especially about bring black voters back into the Republican party.

I live in a far suburb of DC which is in range of WCSP-FM, C-SPAN’s local FM station, so during the drive home this evening I was able to listen to President Trump’s speech at a rally in South Carolina. His opening seemed almost like a standup comedy routine; he was clearly having a good time with a friendly audience. Toward the end of the speech, he made a pitch targeted explicitly at black voters which he ended by reminding everyone that the Republicans are the party of Lincoln. The crowd, a South Carolina crowd, erupted in cheers and applause.

The Republican Party has changed since I was growing up in the ’50s.

And so has South Carolina.

Bernie Bros and Bernie Bots


The Washington Post reports that Senator Bernie Sanders has received a briefing from intelligence officials claiming that the Russians are acting to interfere in the Democrats’ primaries in support of Sanders. My podcasting partner Stacy McCain has posted his thoughts on the matter, and they’re worth reading.

Yesterday, I pointed out that the 2016 Russian Collusion Hoax never make sense. Why would the FSB or GRU or other Russian organization work to support an American presidential candidate who was promising to take effective actions against Russia’s interests? Russia supporting Trump over Clinton made no sense.

Recycling Russian collusion, this time supporting Sanders, may be a act of desperation by the Democrat establishment, but at least it makes sense.

Sanders claims to be a socialist, but based on his record, it’s probably more accurate to view him as a communist. If one of America’s adversaries were looking to support a politician who would weaken our economy, our military, and our standing in the world, who in the 2020 field of candidates fits the bill better than Sanders? While many Russians are too young to remember the USSR, the country’s leadership does. They saw (and many participated in) they way communism ruined Russia. They are no longer communists because they’ve seen communism fail, but they still think as Marxists, so they view the world in terms of a zero-sum power struggle. The logic of that worldview would lead them to favor candidates such as Corbyn in the UK and Sanders here.

And it is all about power.

The Russian nomenklatura have maintained power by allowing a quasi-Fascist alliance between government and oligarchs to evolve. Similarly, the Deep State has developed alliances throughout the West which are threatened from the Right by Trump and the Left by Sanders. In 2016, the Democrat establishment was successful in suppressing Sanders’ candidacy, but they failed to defeat Trump. Four years later, they’ve failed in their efforts to nullify that election. As one prominent Democrat observed, elections have consequences, and one of the consequences of 2016 is that the Deplorables learned they can push back against the elites and win. The ongoing struggle for command of the Democratic Party will be interesting to watch.

I’m ready for my second cup of coffee this morning. I think I’ll put a bag of popcorn in the microwave as a mid morning snack.

The Stupid. It Burns.


Donald Trump has done more to hobble Vladimir Putin’s ability to act on the world stage than any of his predecessors. For example, Trump’s favorable treatment of fracking has kept the prices of oil and natural gas down, devastating Russia’s income as an oil exporter and severely truncating Putin’s cash flow. It’s the Democrats who espouse policies which are more favorable to Russia’s interests.

So the New York Times ran this yesterday—

That “warning” was supposedly contained in an intelligence briefing. If our intelligence agencies really think that Vladimir Putin would act so stupidly against his own interests as to try to interfere in the 2020 election in Trump’s favor, then it’s time for a top-to-bottom review of what’s going on in Spookville. Trump’s appointment of Richard Grenell as acting Director of National Intelligence looks like a pretty good move.

Note to the Times: The Russian Collusion Hoax failed last year.

Swamp Draining


President Trump has withdrawn the nomination of Jessie Liu to position at the Treasury Department. According to a post by J. Christian Adams over at PJ Media, the reason for the withdrawal is the President’s disapproval of Liu’s work as the U. S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, and the straw that broke the camel’s back in this case was her office’s sentencing memo for Roger Stone. For lying to the FBI, Democrat senate intelligence staffer James Wolfe who leaked secret data to his girlfriend got 2 months.  Liu’s “career prosecutors” recommended 9 years for the same behavior by Stone.

Adams goes through a long list of biased prosecutions by the “career prosecutors” in Liu’s U. S. Attorney’s office, and concludes—

This was the week that Trump got his sea-legs. He campaigned on draining the swamp, and he has learned how subtle and how sophisticated the swamp is.

Meanwhile, institutionalists, including some Republicans too cowardly to be quoted by name, have gone on record as clutching their pearls at Trump’s actions.  They want the bureaucrats to be unmoored to the executive branch.

The “career lawyers” at the Justice Department did not stand for election and win.  The entire Department should take note.  There is a unitary executive.  Elections matter.  The President ran against the elites who are dispensing biased, sanctimonious unequal justice in Washington D.C.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that he is keeping his promises.

Read the whole thing.

Given the house cleaning at the National Security Council and the withdrawal of the Liu nomination, I won’t be surprised if there are more vacancies in certain government positions in the near future.

Gnats and Elephants


The United States fired one missile. It hit its target, and there was trivial collateral damage.

Iran launched 15 missiles. Four (over 25 %) failed in flight. The remain eleven all missed their targets, causing collateral damage to a third party (Iraq) and wounding Iraqis.

Donald Trump set his red line a the death of an American, and he has not responded with further military action. Iran’s feeble response to our hit on Soleimani didn’t tempt him to ratchet up the fight. Rather, Trump’s restraint demonstrates the huge difference in power between the U.S. and Iran and the difference in our abilities to take a punch.

Elephants have thick skins, but if small insects become bothersome, elephants have the wherewithal to deal with them.

Nothingburger or Schiff Sandwich?


My podcasting partner Stacy McCain has a post over at The Other McCain asking, “Why the Ukrainian ‘Nothingburger’?

This has “Deep State” fingerprints all over — partisan bureaucrats acting to undermine the administration’s policy goals. If such activity is permitted, then no matter who is elected president, the same policies (i.e., those preferred by the bureaucracy) will continue. Elections become meaningless, Americans who want a change in policy are left with no effective recourse, and it becomes impossible to enact real reform.

If we can assume, then, that this CIA whistleblower was acting in concert with Schiff and/or other House Democrat, what was their purpose? Was this nothingburger of a “scandal” just another wild episode partisanship run amok? Or was there a strategic purpose to this Ukraine episode?

Oh, I think that the real initial purpose for the complaint may turn out to be that members of the Deep State were attempting to deflect public attention ahead of the report from DoJ IG Horowitz on the FISA warrants associated with the Russian collusion hoax. William A. Jacobson explores a likely provenance for that scenario here. However, there are other reasons for certain folks to find the made-up scandal useful.

The marxist wing of the House Democrats were casting about for a fresh excuse for impeachment hearings.

The Never Biden wing of the the Democrats were looking for a way to end Joe Biden’s candidacy.

The Orange Man Bad contingent of the Main Stream Media always needs fresh material to attract their declining audience.

And though it may seem counterintuitive, President Trump appears to be using the situation to his advantage. His quick declassification and release of documents gives the appearance that he has nothing to hide. I suspect that we will eventually see that it is the Democrats and their Deep State allies that are engaged in a coverup.

It’s become a tired cliché that all the Democrats should have to do to win is not be crazy—and they can’t manage to act sane. Whoever drafted the whistleblower complaint thought he was being clever, but he didn’t understand his adversary. Donald Trump does not play under the Old Rules. He fights back.

An Investment Opportunity


Donald Trump’s personal style is … well, it’s a bit rough around the edges for my personal tastes, but he’s been effective at framing the public dialog in was that no Republican political has for several decades. He’s got the Democrats defending their political leadership of cities like Baltimore. He’s got them defending Al Sharpton. It’s seems clear to me that he intends to stay one step ahead of the Democrats during the coming election cycle.

I’m buying more popcorn futures.