Category Archive 'Donald Trump'
09 Jan 2021
Those who followed my blog will be aware that I vehemently opposed Trump’s nomination and did not vote for him in 2016. Watching his behavior at the inauguration, I became persuaded I’d been wrong, that he really was sincere, and I sat down and mentally compared Trump’s deficiencies to those of other presidents during my own lifetime (Truman, Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Carter, &c.) and concluded that, really, compared to others, he was not worse. Not every president was Ronald Reagan.
As his administration progressed, I found myself very happy with his appointments and his policies, by and large. I was always an opponent of Protectionism, but one must admit that it has a long political tradition in this country, and de-industrializing America and enormously enriching and empowering China is undoubtedly a very dangerous thing to do.
A lot of Trump’s appointments did not work out. He seems to be bad at working with people with strong opinions and large egos. Trump obviously is a spoiled, narcissistic millionaire. But, oddly, I thought the appointees I liked the very best, Jim Mattis and John Bolton, turned out to behave, IMO, even worse than Trump. Mattis revealed himself to be a great talker and self promoter, but an empty uniform principally concerned with being well aligned with establishment opinion. Mattis did nothing to oppose fashionable PC in the military.
John Bolton obviously proved to be an egomaniac fully competitive with Trump, and a greedy and disloyal subordinate, bent upon revenge and so eager to cash-in with a tell-all book that he felt not need to wait until the administration he would be savaging was out of office. A lot of people would not be quite so willing to give aid and comfort to the democrats.
Trump’s policy decisions, on the other hand, were generally great. Trump dismissed catastrophist superstition out of hand. He cleared away regulatory obstacles to oil production, creating millions of jobs, helping the economy, dramatically lowering energy prices, and making America energy independent again. He gave America back working dishwashers and useful showerheads. He blocked communist Woke propaganda where he could. He sold oil leases on the North Slope. And he restarted the Space Program.
Trump suffers obviously from Trumpiness, but he has one great and supreme virtue: he fights. We live in an emasculated age of trimmers, grovelers, conformists, and opportunists, all sticking a wet index finger up to find out which way the wind is blowing. When the Establishment turns its unlimited powers of credentialing and decredentialing, of ridicule, spin, and narrative framing, strong men surrender and run and hide. Not Good Old Trump. He stood up to them and fought back.
I could today be saying: I told you so. I said, back then, that Trump was limited and could very well screw up and hand the presidency and big fat mandate over to the democrats after one term, but I won’t be doing that.
Yes, Trump as out of his depth dealing with the stolen election mess. Yes, he did not seem able to locate and employ effective professional legal representation. But, when you come right down to it, most of the GOP leadership and the conservative commentariat funked out. It was Trump and a handful of real conservatives, Cruz and Hawley, who actually tried to fight. There was obviously little time, the holidays come between the election and the vote certification. Our judges tend to be democrat tools or just too timid to venture into the stormy waters of a contested presidential election. The Republican Party was not united and did not have Trump’s back. Shit happens. Ephialtes showed the Persians the way around the pass at Thermopylae. General Ewell should have taken the high ground on July 1st.
Things look black today. They have the presidency, the House, and the Senate. And they are vindictive. They will try to impeach Trump a second time. As Instapundit put it: “Big Tech today settles all family business.” But it is not the end. 74 million Americans voted for Trump. There will be resistance.
07 Jan 2021
Thomas Lifson: Trump calls for peace, tells demonstrators to go home and Twitter removes the post, suspends his account.
08 Dec 2020
Trump tweets video of Chinese professor claiming that Beijing can swing US policy because it has ‘people at the top of America’s core inner circle of power’ in clip that has been deleted from social media in China
Di Dongsheng, a professor at Renmin University in Beijing, appeared on a Chinese television show about Wall Street and international trade last month.
The video was deleted from Chinese social media soon after being uploaded but copies were made which have since been circulating including YouTube.
Professor Di stated how China had ‘people at the top of America’s core inner circle of power and influence’ for years.
Di said the relationship was true for decades until President Trump came along.
He also notes how the Obama administration was easy to manipulate.
Di believes the old ties between China and the U.S. will be restored once President Biden is in the White House.
Excerpts of the video were tweeted by President Trump on Monday night after Tucker Carlson shared a clip on his show.
29 Oct 2020
Salena Zito points out that, if he wins, Biden won’t be healing anything and that the era of nation-wide division is not really about Trump.
Many voters going into this election next month believe if Biden wins the presidency, the constant disruption, chaos, and social unrest will recede because Trump will no longer be president. Some of them are actually hinging their vote on that. Those exasperated voters and every reporter who spins that reasoning are as wrong about that as they were in their belief that the 2016 election was all about Trump. It never was.
Trump was never the cause of the conservative populist coalition that put him in office. He was the result of it. After decades of voters’ dissatisfaction with both political parties, institutions, government, and culture, they voted for themselves and their communities over both partyâ€™s establishments. It wasn’t about voting for Trump.
A lot of very smart people keep missing that critical nuance.
If Trump’s opponents, or those who cover him, spent any time listening to voters and not making fun of them, categorizing them as a cult, racists, stupid, or whatever word of the day they are using to describe them, they would understand that.
I donâ€™t mean parachuting in for a day at a diner and calling that understanding of a community. But walking in their shoes and their community’s streets to see how government has either failed them or passed their communities by. It wouldnâ€™t hurt to stay in town for a couple of days, attend church with people, go to work with them, or watch them coach little league.
Look someone in the eyes on the very ground they walk on, and not from the bubble of your life experiences, and you might experience a little empathy.
As for Biden, despite his wistful assertion that he is going to bring this country together, anyone with a smidgen of understanding of the Democratic Party knows he will be hard-pressed to bring his own party together, let alone an entire country.
The hard and very vocal Left will demand climate change legislation, defunding or deep restructuring of our nationâ€™s police forces, free college tuition, a $15 minimum wage, “Medicare for all,” and a restructuring of our education system to include radical lessons like the 1619 Project as part of the curriculum.
They will take their demands to social media, the streets, and to Washington until they get what they want. That is not a threat; that is just a reality. Biden is not the far-Left’s candidate, but he is the means to an end of Trump. Once elected, there is a valid expectation of a far-left reward for voting for Biden.
The moderate Democrats, independents, and suburban Republicans who may put Biden into office wonâ€™t go willingly along with sweeping government changes to satisfy activists, nor the higher taxes needed to support them. They wonâ€™t take to the streets, but they will silently move away from the coalition they decided to dip their toe in. The result will be an instantaneous shift back toward Republican candidates for the 2022 midterm elections, and the wildly swinging wave elections weâ€™ve been experiencing since 2006 will continue.
In short, there is no exit from the roller coaster anytime soon.
The Left isn’t going to change, and neither are the Americans who refuse to be swept along by the whims and caprices of the community of fashion.
07 Oct 2020
Babylon Bee has the latest news from Middle America:
WASHINGTON, D.C.â€”While battling the darkest monster from the pit of hell, known as “COVID,” Donald the Orange fell to his doom several days ago, sacrificing himself to save America from the deadly demon.
So Americans were ecstatic to learn that Donald the Orange had returned in a new, better form, now known as Donald the White. A brilliant white light shone from Walter Reed Medical Center as Donald the White emerged just in time to save America from COVID, Antifa, and the Deep State.
“I come back to you now at the turn of the tide!” he cried as he rode triumphantly out in the presidential limousine, codenamed “Shadowfax,” cutting right through the ravenous hordes of Antifa counterprotesters blocking the way.
“Donald! Donald the Orange!” cried his supporters outside Walter Reed Medical Center.
“Yes…” he said as he sat in the back of Shadowfax. “Yes… Donald the Orange… that is what they used to call me.”
28 Sep 2020
Monster Hunter Nation:
The more complicated the regulatory burden, the more smaller companies canâ€™t compete. Make the laws complicated enough and the only companies that stay in business are the ones who can afford to pay for twenty guys like me. (my last regular accounting job paid extremely well, and nearly everything I did was jump through government mandated hoops, filling out government mandated paperwork which nobody in the government would probably ever read)
Trump has those resources. I bet heâ€™s got a room full of accountants, and their leader is probably a grizzled old CPA with an eye patch and a raven who sits on his shoulder. The raven also has an eye patch and an accounting degree. This man has wrestled bears, and heâ€™s going to take advantage of every tax break in the US Code for his client, and do so gleefully, knowing that many of those laws were signed by Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
On the other side, you know damned good and well that the IRS has sent their most fearsome auditor against him. This man sold his soul to the devil, and then fined the devil for failing to list that soul as a depreciable asset. When he shows up to audit your company, he appears a flash of fire and brimstone, as a Finnish death metal band plays his theme song. He is an auditor bereft of mercy, compassion, or pity, and beneath his leathery wings serve a legion of IRS goblins, who will crawl into every nook and cranny of the Trump Corporationâ€™s P&L looking for errors, and if a mouse so much as shits a turd large enough to unbalance that ledger, there will be hell to pay.â€
HT: Karen L. Myers.
11 Sep 2020
A comment on the upcoming election by Tony Donadio (9-5-2020), posted on The John Galt Line Facebook groop.
Those treating it that way are making a serious mistake.
Understanding what’s truly on the line in November requires taking a broader cultural and political perspective than a focus on personalities. Particularly troubling are the very real threats to freedom of speech today, which is under direct assault by the political left.
I think it’s clear that America is now effectively facing civil war at the hands of a neo-Marxist insurgency. And I have to say that not appreciating that reality — especially on the part of some people who I think ought to know better — comes across to me as naive, tone-deaf, and lacking in awareness of what is actually happening in the nation’s culture and politics.
I want to make a “statement for the record” on what I think and where I stand on this. I wish I had more time to discuss it in detail, but I have projects due soon and will be too busy for the next few weeks to engage in much debate. So for now I’ll settle for simply listing a few examples of what I think we’re facing. There are a LOT more.
First, the democrats will pass a national version of AB5 (the PRO Act). Biden’s already endorsed it, and it will effectively make it illegal, everywhere, to work for yourself as an independent contractor. Instead your livelihood will be tied to a unionized “employer,” which will have the power to hold that “job” over your head if you don’t toe the line, and behave and speak as expected. In addition to being an attack on the right to earn your own living, this will be a direct assault on the freedom of speech.
The left has weaponized the intel and law enforcement agencies. This is not conjecture or a “right-wing conspiracy theory.” It’s a scandal that makes Watergate look like jay-walking, and the fact that the MSM has erected a wall of silence around it only makes it all the more damning. If they can use that power against a sitting president, they won’t hesitate to use it against anyone — including you and me. This is a profound and direct threat to freedom and the freedom of speech, and it dwarfs anything Trump has done or that we’ve seen from the right.
The left’s calls to â€œdefund the policeâ€ will lead directly to de-facto censorship. That’s what happens when you neuter the social institution tasked with protecting citizens from violence and intimidation, and with maintaining law and order. When the anarchy of local gangs moves in to take its place, and people can be threatened, attacked, killed, or have their property taken or destroyed with impunity and without accountability for displeasing those gangs, then freedom of speech is dead and it’s time to go on strike.
And, of course, the left will, if given power again, pass single-payer, finally destroying the nation’s last vestige of freedom and self-determination in health care.
None of this is about treating Trump or the GOP as paragons of capitalism. I am not so much voting for them, but against the Democrats. But I do want to emphatically reject any attempt at equivocation or moral equivalence between the Republicans on the one hand, and a left that has embraced actual wage-slavery, violence in the streets, and the fascist weaponization of federal law enforcement. Yes, today’s right deserves criticism. It is not even in the same galaxy of bad as the Democratic party of 2020.
EDIT and Postscript: Here are some comments Iâ€™ve written elsewhere about this. I thought this would be a good place to collect them as well.
“The problem is that the Democrats have become a historically unique threat to the future of the republic. They weren’t even close to this bad at the time of the last presidential election. As I look at their actual policy platforms, and understand that they will put these into practice if they are given the power, I don’t see how I can do anything other than oppose them. However bad I may think Trump is, what the Democrats are proposing now is an open declaration of war on the rest of my life.â€
“Calling for a fight to defeat â€˜Trumpismâ€™ is waging a battle that is already long lost. That was my clear takeaway from what happened four years ago, and its scope is wider than just Trump and his supporters. As a result, I’ve come to regard the mission of â€˜saving the right and the Republicansâ€™ as a fool’s errand that is frankly divorced from a real-world appreciation of where they are as a political and intellectual movement. It’s earlier than you think.
“With respect, many people seem to be treating a presidential election as a method of culture-change intellectual activism. That is not only wrong, but I think it’s a hierarchy inversion. And because â€˜Trumpismâ€™ is a symptom of wider trends in our current culture, â€˜defeatingâ€™ it will NOT save the right or bring it around to anything better. I think the Democrats, who are subject to the same cultural forces, have already demonstrated that. They responded to political loss by quadrupling down on precisely the worst elements of their platform, ideology, and naked power-lust.
“What I think all of this indicates is a need to start treating politics, at least for the time being and until we can make more pre-political headway in changing the culture, as a holding action designed to protect ourselves from the worst of the existential threats that we now face in the political landscape. And today, those are overwhelmingly coming from the Democrats and the left. That’s why I will be voting this November with the explicit goal of stopping them.”
22 Aug 2020
In a just world, Peggy Noonan would have repented publicly for turning her coat and endorsing Barack Obama in 2008 and then retired to a nunnery to spend her remaining years making grape jelly. But, no, alas! she is still holding forth regularly as a “conservative” commentator at the Wall Street Journal editorial page.
Just last week, Peggy horrified some of us afresh with a gushing puff-piece praising Joe Biden’s running-mate to the stars.
She is an excellent performer of politics. Like Bill Clinton she enjoys and has a talent for the necessary artifice. She takes obvious pleasure in campaigningâ€”making speeches, waving, laughing, pressing the flesh. In committee hearings she cocks her brow in the closeup to show skepticism. Her glamour, and her consciousness of it, were vivid enough to be spoofed by Maya Rudolph on â€œSaturday Night Live.â€
Reading her 2019 autobiography, â€œThe Truths We Hold: An American Journey,â€ it occurs to you that what sheâ€™s really bringing Joe Biden is the things she doesnâ€™t say and the stories she doesnâ€™t tell on the trail.
She was born and raised in a climate of liberal activism in Oakland and Berkeley, Calif., in the 1960s and â€™70s. Her father, Donald Harris, born in Jamaica in 1938, was a student there and went on to be an economics professor at Stanford. Her mother, Shyamala, was born in southern India, graduated from the University of Delhi at 19, and earned a doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley. Shyamala, who died in 2009, was expected to return home for an arranged marriage; instead she met Donald. They married, had two children and divorced.
When Kamala Harris was a toddler, her parents brought her to civil-rights marches. â€œI have young memories of a sea of legs moving about,â€ she writes. Her mother liked to tell a story. Once Kamala was fussing in her stroller, and Mrs. Harris leaned down and asked, â€œWhat do you want?â€ â€œ â€˜Fweedom!â€™ I yelled back.â€
The general atmosphere was â€™60s Berkeleyâ€”diverse, full of passion, consumed by identity politics and debates about liberation.
They took periodic trips to India. â€œMy mother, grandparents, aunts, and uncle instilled us with pride in our South Asian roots. . . . We were raised with a strong awareness of and appreciation for Indian culture.â€ (India looks to be an increasingly important ally as Americaâ€™s relationship with China deteriorates. If Biden-Harris wins and her background is helpful, good.)
She went to ballet class, sang in the choir in the 23rd Avenue Church of God, went to a black cultural center called Rainbow Sign on Thursdays. She saw Rep. Shirley Chisholm speak and was electrified.
By the time Ms. Harris graduated high school she wanted to become a lawyer like her heroes Thurgood Marshall and Constance Baker Motley. Also like her Uncle Sherman and a family friend named Henry. â€œAny time someone had a problem . . . the first thing youâ€™d hear was, â€˜Call Henry, call Sherman. Theyâ€™ll know what to do.â€™ . . . I wanted to be the one people called.â€ …
[W]e get a sense of gusto. She admires toughness. She is a natural pol. She was bred to achieve in an aspirational immigrant environment. She loves to compete.
She is warm, humorous. Like most of the men around her in politics, she enjoys being important. She isnâ€™t embarrassed by attention.
Peggy omits mentioning the unpleasant reality of exactly how a graduate of a third-rate law school, who flunked the bar exam, rose so rapidly to the upper levels of California democrat party machine politics.
This week, Peggy delivered a tepid critique of the democrat convention: boring, artificial, and way too full of grievance-mongering. But, she also endorsed, and enthusiastically echoes, all the scurrilous crap they flung at Donald Trump.
All summer Iâ€™ve been running into two kinds of people. One kind says, â€œThat man is a living shame on our country and must be removed.â€ The other kind says very little. They donâ€™t defend him. They say, â€œI canâ€™t believe I may vote for him, but . . .â€ And always they explain it this way: â€œWhat the other guys are gonna do on taxes,â€ â€œWhat the other guys will do to my industry,â€ â€œWhat the Democrats will do to the economy.â€
Iâ€™m getting the impression that for a lot of people, the ballot this fall wonâ€™t read â€œTrump vs. Bidenâ€ but â€œTrump vs. What the Other Guys Will Do.â€ …
Barack Obamaâ€™s speech will stick in history; it wonâ€™t just slide away. No former president has ever publicly leveled anything like this criticism at a sitting successor: â€œI did hope, for the sake of our country, that Donald Trump might show some interest in taking the job seriously, that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care. But he never did. For close to four years now, he has shown no interest in putting in the work.â€
This is a former president calling the current one shallow and lazy. He also suggested heâ€™s greedy and intellectually incapable. Unprecedented? Yes. Unjustified? No, alas. And Iâ€™m not seeing Trump supporters rise up in indignant defense. They know itâ€™s true, too.
Reading this, my blood boiled and I marveled at the extent to which long residence in the elite community of fashion bubble has distorted and impaired her perception of reality.
OK, it is true that Donald Trump talks differently from the typical representative of the national upper middle class elite. He boasts and brags. He constantly indulges in exaggeration and he interrupts his own sentences, inserting annoying little modifiers like “the most beautiful.” Trump also dresses and grooms himself peculiarly. His suits are always identical and blue and look like they came from Robert Hall. He wears (almost always) monochrome neckties, usually red, and always tied too long. And he dyes his hair and wears it peculiarly long and combed over elaborately in a very strange fashion obviously contrived to cover at any cost his baldness.
Trump offends the delicate sensibilities of people like Peggy Noonan, too, by his conspicuous lack of inhibition and propriety. Trump gets online and tweets what he thinks and feels, insulting and attacking his opponents in government and the media with no consideration to his own dignity or that of his position. Trump obviously is not lazy. His problem is hyperactivity.
I think “shallow” is also not the mot juste. Trump is not so much shallow as undomesticated and unrefined. Donald Trump offends the dickens out of our national elite, because he is clearly “not one of us.” Trump is an outsider, a parvenu from the Outer Boroughs, who dresses, walks, talks, and behaves like –oh, dear! oh, dear!– one of the common people.
Donald Trump is not glib and smooth-talking. He cannot produce the same kind of ever-so-nice sounding gaseous rhetoric as Obama. He does not understand how he’s supposed to behave. He breaks all the rules and knocks over the tea set every time.
Why all this rankles, why this stings so sharply, lies precisely in the fact that the people’s elevation of Donald Trump constitutes a distinct rejection, an undeniable slap in the face to the entire America establishment elite. The people rejected the democrat elite’s left-wing insanity, and they also rejected the Republican elite for having failed for so long to defeat Leftism absolutely and decisively. And, there is an especially sharp, added level of pain for establishmentarians looking on: Trump is winning, Trump is faithfully, unprecedentedly fulfilling campaign promises. The horrible, uncouth and unworthy Trump shrugs off easily the worst the democrat opposition can do, and marches on, trampling taboos underfoot, from victory to victory.
I didn’t support Trump in 2016. I had all the same stylistic reservations as Peggy and George Will and all the other Never Trumpers. However, I gradually observed that Trump really is patriotic and sincere. I liked many of his appointments and I really like the majority of his policies. Sure, I recognize that Trump is eccentric and flawed, but I also recognize how much he has accomplished and how willing he is to fight. You can’t come to me and tell me that Donald Trump is too dumb and too shallow to be president, we have to have Joe Biden instead! If Donald Trump owned a dog, it would be smarter than Joe Biden. And that dog would be more principled.
Peggy Noonan ought to be ashamed.
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