Kurt Schlichter (who has been on a roll lately) predicts the outcome of the fabricated Russiagate scandal.
If youâ€™re stressed out about this whole Russian nonsense, relax â€“ Donald Trump didn’t do anything wrong, and he’s not going be impeached, arrested, or ritually disemboweled. When the truth comes out and it explodes in the Democratsâ€™ soft, girlish hands, weâ€™ll all be laughing and toasting their humiliation with Stoli shots.
How do I know this with utter certainty? Because it’s all so glaringly obvious, and itâ€™s the only scenario that fits the facts. As Hugh Hewitt says, this scandal has three silos. The first silo is the question of whether the Russians somehow â€œhacked our election.â€ The second silo is whether any Trump people â€œcolludedâ€ with the Russians. The third silo, the one patriots care most about since itâ€™s the one that isnâ€™t a ridiculous fantasy, is whether anyone in Obama’s administration used our intelligence apparatus to spy on his and Hillaryâ€™s political opponents. The answers are â€œNo,â€ â€œNo,â€ and â€œYes.â€ The end results are going to be a stronger Trump, weaker Democrats, and various Obama minions exploring new career opportunities in the exciting fields of license plate-making, large-to-small rock transformation, and artisanal pruno distilling.
Read the whole thing.
Avik Roy is a graduate of Yale Medical School who has published extensively on the problems of America’s current health system and Health Care Reform.
Republican and conservative leaders failed the cause of free-market health reform in three principal ways. First, they failed to make a moral case for replacing Obamacare, as opposed to purely repealing it. As a result, they then failed to unite the hard-line and pragmatic wings of the GOP around a coherent health-care-reform proposal. And due to the ambitions of the 100-day legislative agenda, and the peculiar legislative calendar associated with the Senateâ€™s reconciliation process, they chose not to invest the time in getting health-care reform right.
Conservatives intuitively understand the moral case for repealing Obamacare. The law significantly expands the role and scope of the federal government in determining Americansâ€™ personal health-care choices. Its individual mandate is a constitutional injury. And its Rube Goldberg-like maze of insurance regulations has made health insurance unaffordable for millions.
But when it came to replacing Obamacare, Republicans usually presented the case in exclusively political terms: Replacement was necessary because the alternative would be daily front-page stories of the millions thrown off of their health-care plans by the GOP Congress. Conservatives rarely attempted to make a moral case for replacing Obamacare. Indeed, if you believe that the federal government has no legitimate role in helping the uninsured afford health coverage, your intuition is that there isnâ€™t a moral case for replacing Obamacare. …
That intuition is understandable, but mistaken, because it is in fact the federal government that has made health insurance so costly through seven decades of unwise policies. Those policies include the exclusion from taxation of employer-sponsored health insurance, an outgrowth of World War II-era wage controls. They include the enactment of the Great Society entitlements, Medicare and Medicaid, in 1965. They include the EMTALA law, signed by President Reagan, that guaranteed free emergency-room coverage to everyone, including the uninsured and illegal immigrants. And they include Obamacare.
This seven-decade pileup of federal intervention in the health-care system is directly â€” and exclusively â€” responsible for the astronomical costs of the present-day American health-care system. It is not right, when confronted with such a state of affairs, to shrug our shoulders and say â€œtough luckâ€ to those who canâ€™t afford insurance. Indeed, we have an affirmative duty to reform federal policies so as to make health insurance once again affordable for the working poor.
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Update: March 6: I learned this morning that the amusing image above was Photoshopped by artist Tim O’Brien.
Newly minted Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke rode a horse to his first day of work at the departmentâ€™s Washington, D.C., headquarters, Thursday morning.
Zinke wore a cowboy hat, boots and jeans for the Thursday morning ride, which preceded a welcoming event in the lobby of the building.
Photos tweeted by Zinke and by Interiorâ€™s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement show the former Navy SEAL riding with U.S. Park Police officers.
â€œHonored to stand with the brave officers of @USParkPolice – these professionals put their lives on the line for us,â€ Zinke tweeted.
The transportation choice aligns with Zinkeâ€™s choice to brand himself as a conservative and conservationist in the mold of President Theodore Roosevelt, a strong advocate for outdoor recreation who established numerous national parks.
Zinke was Montanaâ€™s sole House representative before the Senate confirmed him to the Interior post Wednesday. Vice President Pence swore him in Wednesday night.
Zinke’s an ardent hunter, fisherman and outdoorsman, and pledged in the Senate to oppose any attempt at large-scale transfers of federal land â€” long a goal of some conservatives in the West.
In major news this morning, ex- fieldhunter TONTO, formerly owned by Jessie Swan of Markham VA, carried new Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to his first day of work Thursday morning in downtown Washington, DC. Tonto, an Irish gelding was imported and hunted with the Blue Ridge Hunt by owner Clay Smith prior to his purchase by Jessie for hunting with the Casanova Hunt. Upon his retirement from the hunt field, she lent the roan gelding to the police unit of the Washington Park Service. Normally only ridden by Maria Sabate, Tonto made a bit of history today when he was selected for the hack to work, probably due to his unbeatable disposition. Tonto is certainly continuing his winning ways as a tried and true Virginia fieldhunter.”
Conservative Treehouse has great news.
The career political operatives who reign within the State Department openly view themselves as a distinctly separate state governing authority, with no attachment to the policies or objectives of the United States presidency or any mere elected official therein.
For years this group has considered themselves â€œthe untouchablesâ€.
They live a life of high financed indulgence including: massive expense accounts, chartered airline travel, swanky cocktail parties, expense chauffeurs to take their kids to private school, seasonally designed home decor â€“ appointed by only the very best interior designers, personal security to keep the commoners away, tickets to the best venues and reserved seating at elite DC restaurants.
With first rights to the budget expenditures, the 7th floor group finds no indulgence too extravagant for their intellectual elitism. They demand nothing but the finest because they are the most worthy of the DC professionally privileged â€“ who are more equal than others; and after all, their jobs require them to host and visit like-minded diplomats, and celebrities with exclusive tastes from around the world.
Today, this elite crew collectively choked on their crust-less triangle sandwiches:
WASHINGTON DC â€“ [â€¦] Much of seventh-floor staff, who work for the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources and the Counselor offices, were told today that their services were no longer needed.
[â€¦] Two sources also told CBS News that Ambassador Kristie Kenney, the Counselor of the State Department and one of the last remaining senior officials, was informed that she will be let go. She is a career foreign service officer who had served as an ambassador under Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton. Her staff was told that Secretary Tillerson does not intend to fill the counselorâ€™s position anytime soon.
[â€¦] â€œIt is irresponsible to let qualified, nonpartisan, experienced people go before you have any idea of their replacement. You canâ€™t do foreign policy by sitting in the White House, just out of your back pocket,â€ explains Tom Countryman, Former Assistant Secretary for Non-Proliferation who was let go earlier this month.
Countryman worries that the White House is displaying an intent not rely on the State Department for foreign policy in that no one will be in place to challenge the edicts drawn up in the Oval Office.
Read the whole thing.
Sally Fields and a bunch of Hollywood types you never heard of are warning Congress that they will not tolerate Donald Trump’s “Racism, Sexism, or Xenophobia” and that they expect Congress to block any legislation opposed to the interests of any and all of the fashionable Left’s pet victim groups of privilege.
If Congress fails to oblige, I guess they’ll all sit down and have a great big cry or make another ineffably self-important video.
WaPo: President-elect Donald Trump has chosen retired Marine Gen. James N. Mattis to be secretary of defense.
Scientific American sounded bitter this morning.
Donald Trump has selected one of the best-known climate skeptics to lead his U.S. EPA transition team, according to two sources close to the campaign.
Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute, is spearheading Trumpâ€™s transition plans for EPA, the sources said. …
Ebell is a well-known and polarizing figure in the energy and environment realm. His participation in the EPA transition signals that the Trump team is looking to drastically reshape the climate policies the agency has pursued under the Obama administration. Ebellâ€™s role is likely to infuriate environmentalists and Democrats but buoy critics of Obamaâ€™s climate rules.
Ebell, who was dubbed an â€œelegant nerdâ€ and a â€œpolicy wonkâ€ by Vanity Fair, is known for his prolific writings that question what he calls climate change â€œalarmism.â€ He appears frequently in the media and before Congress. Heâ€™s also chairman of the Cooler Heads Coalition, a group of nonprofits that â€œquestion global warming alarmism and oppose energy-rationing policies.â€
Ebell appears to relish criticism from the left.
In a biography submitted when he testified before Congress, he listed among his recognitions that he had been featured in a Greenpeace â€œField Guide to Climate Criminals,â€ dubbed a â€œmisleaderâ€ on global warming by Rolling Stone and was the subject of a motion to censure in the British House of Commons after Ebell criticized the United Kingdomâ€™s chief scientific adviser for his views on global warming.
More recently, Ebell has called the Obama administrationâ€™s Clean Power Plan for greenhouse gases illegal and said that Obama joining the Paris climate treaty â€œis clearly an unconstitutional usurpation of the Senateâ€™s authority.â€
He told Vanity Fair in 2007, â€œThere has been a little bit of warming … but itâ€™s been very modest and well within the range for natural variability, and whether itâ€™s caused by human beings or not, itâ€™s nothing to worry about.â€
Ebellâ€™s views appear to square with Trumpâ€™s when it comes to EPAâ€™s agenda. Trump has called global warming â€œbullshitâ€ and he has said he would â€œcancelâ€ the Paris global warming accord and roll back President Obamaâ€™s executive actions on climate change (ClimateWire, May 27).
Read the whole thing.
Trump gets serious points with me for this one.