Category Archive 'Donald Trump'
13 Jul 2018

Trump Could End Up Replacing 4 Supreme Court Justices in his First Term

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Business Insider points out that Trump may just be getting started on remodeling the Supreme Court.

Trump now stands to secure two justices in the first half of his first term. Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush appointed two justices each during their eight years in office.

Supreme Court justices, who serve for life after a presidential appointment and Senate confirmation, represent one of the longer-lasting marks a president can leave on the country, as the justices often serve for decades.

But Trump reportedly thinks he can get an additional two justices in.

In October, the news website Axios cited an anonymous source detailing private predictions by Trump that Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor would retire during his term.

“What does she weigh? 60 pounds?” Trump asked of the now-85-year-old Ginsburg, a source told Axios. The same report indicated Trump said Sotomayor, over 20 years younger than Ginsburg, was also in trouble because of “her health.”

“No good. Diabetes,” Trump reportedly said.

Sotomayor had a health scare in January with paramedics treating her for low blood sugar, but she quickly returned to work. Sotomayor says she’s vigilant about her Type 1 diabetes, which she’s had since childhood.

During the 2016 campaign, Trump often said he or his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, could end up appointing five justices. …

Ginsburg and Sotomayor are liberal justices, so replacing both Kennedy and either of them with conservatives could change the court’s makeup for decades, possibly reversing decisions like Roe v. Wade.

RTWT

08 Jul 2018

“Every Time Trump Tweets…”

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Patricia McCarthy thinks that Donald Trump’s tweets are giving America a Wonderful Life and having one other major result.

It is clear to anyone paying attention that the fact that Donald Trump won the 2016 election has driven the leftists of America stark raving mad – all of them except those who have joined the Walk Away movement. Those not similarly open-minded hate him with a passion bordering on insanity.

Maxine Waters has been a thoroughly corrupt member of the House for decades. In spite of her malfeasance, her constituents keep voting for her, though she does nothing for them. Her district is as blighted as it was when she was first elected. She has used her position ever since to enrich herself, her husband, and her daughter, living in a $4M mansion in Hancock Park while the voters who keep electing her live in South Central Los Angeles, an area as beset by homeless people as San Francisco.

Ms. Waters is a vile person who has repeatedly called for violence against any and all members of Trump’s Cabinet and his supporters anywhere they appear. Too many lefties have taken her rant as permission to attack Trump-supporters. So Trump tweeted:

    Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extraordinarily low IQ person, has become, together with Nancy Pelosi, the Face of the Democrat Party. She has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement. Be careful what you wish for Max!

Truer words were never spoken! An angel got his wings. Trump’s tweets speak for the rest of us, the deplorables. He says what all of us, even Democrats, are thinking…with the exception of the black women in Congress who are furious that Schumer and Pelosi did not “protect” Waters from criticism!

RTWT

30 Jun 2018

Kennedy’s Retirement and Liberal Doom

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Bill Jacobson explains why they are taking it so hard:

There’s a reason the left is freaking the hell out over the Kennedy retirement. The federal district and appeals courts have been the principal vehicles for achieving liberal political gains that could not be gained at the ballot box or through congressional elections. The Supreme Court, usually by a one-vote Kennedy margin (with the exception of Obamacare, where Roberts defected), also has served that role in fewer, but the most important, cases.

We are used to losing institutions. The left is not. They are waking up to the possibility that the judiciary may be restored to the neutral role it should play, and would no longer serve as a liberal super-legislature.

28 Jun 2018

Send This as a Sympathy Card to Your Liberal Friends

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22 Jun 2018

Christopher Walken: The Lion Speech

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Ben Marquis says Walken is really describing Donald Trump.

18 Jun 2018

Theresa May Hit by Best Zinger of the Year

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12 Jun 2018

“A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad President Builds an Empire”

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Niall Ferguson points out that the supposedly oh-so-smart people just don’t get it. Trump is winning.

To most highly educated people I know, President Trump is a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad president.

For two years, the people with at least two university degrees (PALTUDs) have been gnashing their teeth about Trump’s every utterance and move. To the foreign policy experts, he is a bull in a china shop, trampling the “rules-based international order” underfoot. To the economics establishment, he is a human wrecking ball, smashing more than a half-century of consensus that free trade really works better than protectionism.

A striking feature of all this dire commentary is how wrong it has been so far. …

Despite all the trade war talk, the US economy is at full employment, the dollar is rallying, the stock market is up 30 percent since Trump’s election, and the only countries in any trouble are the usual suspects with their usual problems (e.g., Turkey).

It is not that Trump is an underrated genius, nor for that matter an idiot savant. It is just that his intuitive, instinctive, impulsive way of operating, familiar to those who have done business with him, is exposing some basic flaws in the conceptual framework of the PALTUDs. …

Think of the world as a three-empire system. It is dominated by the United States, China, and Europe, in that order. Each empire is evolving in a different direction. The American empire, having experienced overextension in Afghanistan and Iraq, has not retreated into isolation. Its latest step down the road to empire is domestic. …

All the accompanying symptoms of the transition from republic to empire are already visible. The plebs despise the elites. An old and noble senatorial order personified by John McCain is dying. A cultural civil war rages on social media, the modern-day forum, with all civility cast aside and character assassination a daily occurrence. The president-emperor dominates public discourse by issuing 280-character edicts, picking fights with football players, and arbitrarily pardoning convicted criminals.

Meanwhile, the Chinese empire becomes ever more centralized, ever more invasive of its citizens’ privacy, and ever more overt in its overseas expansion. The Western world regards Xi Jinping as an almighty potentate. Few observers appreciate the acute sense of weakness that has motivated his tightening grip on party and state and his surveillance of his own people. Few see the risks of imperial ventures such as the Belt and Road Initiative, which is drawing Chinese investment into economically unpromising and strategically dangerous locations.

The weakest of the three empires is the European Union. True, its central institutions in Brussels have the power to impose rules, fines, and taxes on the biggest American and Chinese corporations. But Europe lacks tech giants of its own. Its navies, armies, and air forces have melted away, so that it can scarcely defend its frontiers from penniless migrants, never mind hostile invaders. And the political consensus on which it has been based for the past 60 years —between social democrats and moderate conservatives in every member state — is crumbling under a nationalist-populist assault.

The logic of Trumpism is simply to bully the other empires, exploiting the fact that they are both weaker than the United States, in order to extract concessions and claim victories. The Chinese sincerely fear a trade war and will end up buying a very large amount of American produce in order to avoid one. The Europeans dare not stand up to Trump over his Iran sanctions and secretly agree with him about China, and so are reduced to impotent seething (Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany) or sycophancy (President Emmanuel Macron of France, until last week’s G-7 summit). If they unite against him, he brings up Russia and divides them again.

To the PALTUDs, who remain so certain of their intellectual superiority to the president, all this is incomprehensible. They will continue to find fault with Trump’s every success, nitpicking their way through the small print, failing to realize that in the imperial transition such details cease to matter.

06 Jun 2018

Irredentism

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31 May 2018

Trump to Give Full Pardon to Dinesh D’Souza

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Fox News:

President Trump announced Thursday he will pardon conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, who was convicted of making an illegal campaign contribution in 2014.

“Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D’Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government!” the president tweeted Thursday morning.

D’Souza pleaded guilty in 2014 for donating $20,000 to New York politician Wendy Long, allegedly going over the limit by directing other donors to give to her. He was sentenced to five years of probation and eight months in a halfway house, and paid a $30,000 fine.

Despite his guilty plea, D’Souza and his allies have claimed for years that he was unfairly singled out for prosecution, and unfairly treated by the Obama administration.

The conservative filmmaker in 2012 made a hit anti-Obama documentary called “2016: Obama’s America.” The film examined then-President Obama’s past and early influences that may have shaped his political ideology.

D’Souza’s 2014 indictment was announced by then-U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was appointed by Obama, and fired in 2017 by Trump. The indictment stated that D’Souza was charged with one count of illegally donating to a Senate campaign and one count of causing false statements to be made to authorities in connection with the contributions.

I did not vote for Trump in 2016. But, if he runs for re-election in 2020, he definitely has my vote.

Trump has the guts to stand up and call a partisan prosecution unfair and then use his presidential power to undo it. He pardoned Scooter Libby and he’s going to pardon Dinesh D’Souza. In my book, that makes Trump a lot better president than George W. Bush whose deferential attitude toward the operations of government, even when democrats were using the system corruptly, made him into a passive patsy.

Trump’s willingness to pardon victims of partisan bogus prosecutions is actually a very important application of the constitutional principle of Checks and Balances, and on the level of practical politics will tend to suppress use of that cruel and nefarious tactic in the future. If democrats are obliged to recognize that the next Republican president will call them out, and simply cancel what they did with a stroke of the pen, the game will be seen to be not worth the candle. Good going, Trump!

29 May 2018

David Brooks on the Errors of the Meritocracy

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Today’s older meritocrats at college in the late 1960s.

David Brooks is dead wrong on the character of the ancien regime, falling like a sap for the fantasy stereotypes of the left-wing imagination. There were always plenty of ordinary middle class guys not rich at all, and even some poor, working-their-way-through-college fellows at Yale from humble backgrounds, long before the pedophile from Horace Mann took over Yale admissions, probably really back to the Class of 1705. But he is otherwise basically right this time. And the older Ivy League graduate would conspicuously differ from today’s “meritocrat” in, despite some higher education, recognizing that he, too, just like the working class chap living on the other side of town, still puts his trousers on one leg at a time, and in remaining aware that his automobile mechanic and his hunting guide are just as human as himself and may even be, in some departments, better men.

The older establishment won World War II and built the American Century. We, on the other hand, led to Donald Trump. The chief accomplishment of the current educated elite is that it has produced a bipartisan revolt against itself. …

The real problem with the modern meritocracy can be found in the ideology of meritocracy itself. Meritocracy is a system built on the maximization of individual talent, and that system unwittingly encourages several ruinous beliefs:

Exaggerated faith in intelligence. Today’s educated establishment is still basically selected on the basis of I.Q. High I.Q. correlates with career success but is not the crucial quality required for civic leadership. Many of the great failures of the last 50 years, from Vietnam to Watergate to the financial crisis, were caused by extremely intelligent people who didn’t care about the civic consequences of their actions.

Misplaced faith in autonomy. The meritocracy is based on the metaphor that life is a journey. On graduation days, members for the educated class give their young Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” which shows a main character, “you,” who goes on a solitary, unencumbered journey through life toward success. If you build a society upon this metaphor you will wind up with a society high in narcissism and low in social connection. Life is not really an individual journey. Life is more like settling a sequence of villages. You help build a community at home, at work, in your town and then you go off and settle more villages.

Misplaced notion of the self. Instead of seeing the self as the seat of the soul, the meritocracy sees the self as a vessel of human capital, a series of talents to be cultivated and accomplishments to be celebrated. If you base a society on a conception of self that is about achievement, not character, you will wind up with a society that is demoralized; that puts little emphasis on the sorts of moral systems that create harmony within people, harmony between people and harmony between people and their ultimate purpose.

Inability to think institutionally. Previous elites poured themselves into institutions and were pretty good at maintaining existing institutions, like the U.S. Congress, and building new ones, like the postwar global order. The current generation sees institutions as things they pass through on the way to individual success. Some institutions, like Congress and the political parties, have decayed to the point of uselessness, while others, like corporations, lose their generational consciousness and become obsessed with the short term.

Misplaced idolization of diversity. The great achievement of the meritocracy is that it has widened opportunities to those who were formerly oppressed. But diversity is a midpoint, not an endpoint. Just as a mind has to be opened so that it can close on something, an organization has to be diverse so that different perspectives can serve some end. Diversity for its own sake, without a common telos, is infinitely centrifugal, and leads to social fragmentation.

The essential point is this: Those dimwitted, stuck up blue bloods in the old establishment had something we meritocrats lack — a civic consciousness, a sense that we live life embedded in community and nation, that we owe a debt to community and nation and that the essence of the admirable life is community before self.

RTWT

If Brooks read his university alumni notes from earlier 20th Century classes over the years, he would have noticed how commonly “those dimwitted, stuck up blue bloods” enormously excelled in personal accomplishment, lifetime adventure, and public service just about all the grand meritocrats of our later generations.

13 May 2018

The Death of Obama’s Legacy Proves the System Actually Still Works

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David Harsani observes approvingly.

It’s strange that a president who had such a transformative effect on our national discourse will leave such a negligible policy legacy. But Barack Obama, whose imperial term changed the way Americans interact and in some ways paved the way for the Trump presidency, is now watching his much-celebrated and mythologized two-term legacy be systematically demolished.

This, in many ways, tells us that American governance still works.

When President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, he was able to do so without much difficulty because the agreement hinged on presidential fiat rather than national consensus. Obama’s appeasement of Iran was only one in a string of unilateral norm-busting projects that deserve to be dismantled.

You’ll remember the panic-stricken coverage we endured when the United States withdrew from the faux international Paris climate agreement last year. It’s true that the deal was oversold as a matter of policy, but it was symbolic of how the Obama administration concerned itself more with international consensus than domestic compromise.

We know because the president would never have won ratification for a deal remotely similar to the one he entered — nor did he attempt to. Obama had about as much interest in genuine concession as his political adversaries did.

The defense rested on the idea that the Republican-led Congress had failed to “do its job” and act on issues Democrats had deemed vital. But Congress, of course, “acted” all the time by checking the president’s ambitions. This was not only well within its purview but also in many ways the reason the electorate handed the GOP Congress in the first place.

Even if you substantively supported Obama’s actions, the reasoning that girded these supposedly temporary executive decisions was soon revealed to be abusive. In 2012, Obama told the nation that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, a stand-in for legislation, was merely a “temporary stopgap measure.” By the time Trump overturned it, the measure represented “who we are as a people.” That’s because by “temporary” Obama always meant “until Democrats can make it permanent through the courts or electoral victories.”

RTWT

12 May 2018

Trump Not Invited to John McCain’s Funeral

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Not in the best of taste, of course, but it does make an important point in recognizing that an awful lot of voting Americans really do like Donald Trump’s combativeness.

09 May 2018

Impressive Establishment Treason

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via GIPHY

That’s Narges Bajoghli on the right.

This Foreign Policy editorial, written by Narges Bajoghli, an Iranian film-maker, obviously hostile to the United States and proud of the seizure of the US Embassy and the taking of US diplomats as hostages, currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Watson Institute at Brown University, was actually reprinted by Business Insider.

Can you imagine an editorial denouncing the administration’s foreign policy adverse to Japan being editorialized against by some Japanese naval officer doing post-graduate work at Harvard in 1939, titled: “The Empire of the Rising Sun Will Never Trust America Again,” appearing in both Foreign Policy and Business Advisor?

We were naive to think the United States would keep its promises in a deal with us,” Hasan, a retired captain in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war — now a prominent film director — said last week from his office in a major regime production studio in central Tehran. “I thought enough time had passed since the revolution that we could potentially engage with America again,” he continued, before he let out a resigned sigh. …

Ghassem was one of the leading filmmakers for state television in the country. He had made numerous documentaries that investigated the role of the Reagan administration in supplying weapons to Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in his fight against the newly established Iranian government. …
“I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t foresee this coming,” Hasan told me this past weekend. “Ghassem was right, we shouldn’t have trusted the Americans.”

When I spoke with Ghassem, he did not boast that he had predicted the ill-fated trajectory of the deal. He wasn’t against Iran having good relations with any Western country, he had repeatedly told me during those debates in 2014. But he just did not think the United States would ever want anything but full capitulation from the Islamic Republic.

“What my friends didn’t see when they were rooting for the Iran deal,” he recently told me solemnly, “was that there’s a segment of the American political establishment that can never forgive us for kicking the United States out of Iran during the revolution in 1979. I mean, the United States was the shah’s biggest ally, and then we came to power and told them they couldn’t dictate how we governed anymore. And once we took their embassy and held their people hostage in 1980, that was a slap in their face. They can never forgive us for that. They want to see us broken at our knees, in complete surrender.”

“It doesn’t matter if there are people in both of our countries who want to turn a new page,” he continued. “The Obamas and Rouhanis of our countries are just one segment of the political establishment.”

Well, Narges, let me just advise you, that when a lame duck president ignores the US Constitution and makes an end-run around the Senate by making a treaty in the form of an executive order, hostile foreign adversaries of America ought to be aware that the next president may be of a different party and of a different mind and will be perfectly entitled to reverse his predecessor’s decision.

And, yes, personally, I do want to see the mullahs on their knees, in complete surrender, and you out of the United States.

25 Apr 2018

Another Trump Accomplishment

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