Recently in Politics Category

From The New York Times:

Trump Says He Will Release Final Set of Documents on Kennedy Assassination
President Trump has decided to release a final batch of thousands of classified government documents related to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Mr. Trump announced in a tweet on Saturday morning.

“Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter.

Cue the conspiracy theories in 3... 2... 1...

UPDATE: Found the video

Things are getting interesting. The Republicans have won the Presidency, the House and the Senate but they are still proving to be ineffectual RINOs - Republicans In Name Only.

As their nemesis gets ready - from Real Clear Politics:

Bannon Declares War On GOP Establishment: "We're Coming After All Of Them And We're Going To Win"
On Monday's edition of Hannity, Breitbart executive chairman and former Trump adviser Steve Bannon talked about his plan to challenge every Republican Senator up for re-election in 2018 in the primary, except Sen. Ted Cruz. Bannon said Republican incumbents have committed "economic hate crimes" against the "forgotten man."

Bannon said he is declaring "war" on the Republican establishment and those that don't back what President Trump ran on. He said there is a "new game in town" and promised to "cut off the oxygen" to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and stop his fundraising for establishment candidates. Bannon said any person running for the Senate in 2018 that wants his support must oppose McConnell as the Republican Leader.

Heh - about time. President Trump gave them more than enough time to see if they would work with him or continue to support the deep state. They let their affiliations be known so now it is time to get rid of them and bring in people who will be responsive to the wishes of We The People.

Much more at the site - a good read. Time to make a big bowl of popcorn, sit back and watch the fur fly...

The whole thing is worth watching - this is what leadership looks like:

At 4:00:

It was in the same period, exactly 70 years ago, that the United States developed the Marshall Plan to help restore Europe. Those three beautiful pillars -- they’re pillars of peace, sovereignty, security, and prosperity.

The Marshall Plan was built on the noble idea that the whole world is safer when nations are strong, independent, and free. As President Truman said in his message to Congress at that time, “Our support of European recovery is in full accord with our support of the United Nations. The success of the United Nations depends upon the independent strength of its members.”

At 30:15: he starts talking about Cuba and Venezuela as a poster-boys for socialism:

That is why in the Western Hemisphere, the United States has stood against the corrupt and destabilizing regime in Cuba and embraced the enduring dream of the Cuban people to live in freedom. My administration recently announced that we will not lift sanctions on the Cuban government until it makes fundamental reforms.

We have also imposed tough, calibrated sanctions on the socialist Maduro regime in Venezuela, which has brought a once thriving nation to the brink of total collapse.

The socialist dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro has inflicted terrible pain and suffering on the good people of that country. This corrupt regime destroyed a prosperous nation by imposing a failed ideology that has produced poverty and misery everywhere it has been tried. To make matters worse, Maduro has defied his own people, stealing power from their elected representatives to preserve his disastrous rule.

The Venezuelan people are starving and their country is collapsing. Their democratic institutions are being destroyed. This situation is completely unacceptable and we cannot stand by and watch.

And at 33:22 he drops the bomb:

The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented.  (Applause.)  From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure.  Those who preach the tenets of these discredited ideologies only contribute to the continued suffering of the people who live under these cruel systems. 

Excellent speech - The White House has the full transcript here: Remarks by President Trump to the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Like I said, this is what leadership looks like. We could use a lot more of it in Washington.

Finally - unemployment benefits

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I remember that when applying for food stamps and other assistance, recipients had to submit proof that they applied for work. Obama removed this requirement in July of 2012.

Sounds like President Trump is restoring some sanity - from The Daily Caller:

HHS Restores Work Requirement For Welfare Financial Assistance
The Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday the restoration of work participation requirements under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

The requirements were done away with in 2012 by the Obama administration. HHS now urges states to submit an application for exemptions from the established work participation criteria for welfare financial aid.

“Reemphasizing the work requirements in the welfare program means once again promoting gainful employment and economic independence as goals for every family,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Children and Families Steven Wagner in a statement. “The waiver option offered by the Obama administration is being replaced today by an expectation that work should always be encouraged as a condition for receiving welfare.”

Makes a lot of sense. I am not saying that there should not be a safety net for people - there should. It should not be a free ride though - there should be expectations when this safety net is used. Peolpe need to show personal responsibility for their actions.

Someone gets it right

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Looks like the editor of The Wall Street Journal has seen the light regarding what the paying and reading public want. From The New York Times:

Wall Street Journal Editor Admonishes Reporters Over Trump Coverage
Gerard Baker, the editor in chief of The Wall Street Journal, has faced unease and frustration in his newsroom over his stewardship of the newspaper’s coverage of President Trump, which some journalists there say has lacked toughness and verve.

Some staff members expressed similar concerns on Wednesday after Mr. Baker, in a series of blunt late-night emails, criticized his staff over their coverage of Mr. Trump’s Tuesday rally in Phoenix, describing their reporting as overly opinionated.

“Sorry. This is commentary dressed up as news reporting,” Mr. Baker wrote at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday morning to a group of Journal reporters and editors, in response to a draft of the rally article that was intended for the newspaper’s final edition.

He added in a follow-up, “Could we please just stick to reporting what he said rather than packaging it in exegesis and selective criticism?”

Mic drop.

Tip of the hat to Deplorable Don Surber for the link.

A good look at President Trump

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From Investor's Business Daily:

Donald Trump: The 'Fascist' Who Cuts Taxes And Deregulates
Everybody knows by now that President Trump is a fascist. He's a Nazi just like the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12. We know this because the mainstream media, a host of dimwit celebrities, various Democratic politicians and the highly reputable antifa tell us he is.

What we really know, though, is these groups don't know anything except how to shriek louder and longer than everyone else. A few also well know how to break other people's property and set things that don't belong to them on fire. But they don't know their history, and therefore don't know what they're talking about.

But we're here to help them out, so let's make some comparisons.

First, take a look at taxes. Trump wants to cut them. But the Nazis were no tax-cutters.

The author closes with this wonderful observation:

The self-proclaimed anti-Fascists and Nazi-punchers, as well as their media apologists and political abettors, are also more closely aligned with historical Nazis and Fascists than Trump and his supporters through their devotion to mob violence, identity politics, forced conformity and efforts to silence critics.

What we're seeing, then, is a widespread case of psychological projection. We hope that most of the country recognizes this.

Indeed...

What a wonderful idea - sue for fraud

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From The Washington Times:

Making the case for political fraud
If a political candidate asks you for a donation with a promise that he or she will do some specific act if elected and then fails to do so, should you be able to sue for fraud?

If a contractor offers to build a new deck on your home within a specific time period and then fails to do, so you can sue for nonperformance. Excuses that his competitors were not co-operating, or that all of his workers did not show up, or he wanted to take a vacation, would probably not persuade the judge.

It is well understood that many salespeople and political candidates engage in puffery about what their product does or what they are going to do. But when does puffery go so far as to become fraud?

The first President Bush famously made the statement: “Read my lips, no new taxes,” which he repeated many times. Polls showed that many people voted for him based on his no-new-taxes pledge, and that his defeat for re-election was largely a result of his reneging on that important pledge. President Obama assured the American people many times that his Obamacare legislation would allow you to “keep your own doctor” and reduce insurance premiums. These and his other falsehoods cost his party dearly in the subsequent elections. Both President Bush and President Obama could have kept their word or not made the promises if they had so chosen.

Makes perfect sense to me. Lie to us? We will make it hurt.

Just a few highlights of this Executive Order from The White House:

Fact Sheet: President Donald J. Trump Works to Rebuild America's Infrastructure

MODERNIZING AN OUTDATED SYSTEM: The old system for completing environmental reviews was fragmented, inefficient, and unpredictable to the American people.

REMOVING ROADBLOCKS TO IMPROVED INFRASTRUCTURE: Today, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order Establishing Discipline and Accountability In the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure Projects.

BUILDING ON PAST SUCCESS: President Trump has made infrastructure a priority and has taken action to rebuild America.

A few bullet points from the order:

    • According to a 2014 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, it takes 7 years on average for a complex highway project to go through the entire environmental review process.
    • Rather than allow for a patchwork of agency reviews, this Order implements a One Federal Decision policy under which the lead Federal agency will work with other relevant Federal agencies to complete the environmental reviews and permitting decisions needed for major infrastructure projects.
    • Each agency will sign a joint Record of Decision and all required Federal permits will be issued 90 days later.
    • The order establishes a two-year goal to process environmental documents for major infrastructure projects.
    • Government will get out of the way to allow State and local governments to succeed at meeting their unique challenges.

Finally, some real shovel-ready projects unlike the $787 Billion squandered by our past leader - here, here and here. This is what leadership looks like.

China is getting its knickers in a twist - from China Daily:

Trump asking too much from Beijing on peninsula issue
US President Donald Trump will reportedly sign an executive memorandum on Monday authorizing the US trade representative to determine whether to investigate the allegedly "unfair" Chinese trade practices, which could pave the way for punitive tariffs on Chinese exports.

But it is of critical strategic significance that his administration demonstrates reason and avoids making a rash decision it will soon regret.

Given Trump's transactional approach to foreign affairs, it is impossible to look at the matter without taking into account his increasing disappointment at what he deems as China's failure to bring into line the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. His idea of exploiting trade as a bargaining chip in dealings with China dates back to the campaign trail.

But instead of advancing the United States' interests, politicizing trade will only acerbate the country's economic woes, and poison the overall China-US relationship.

Without China's support, North Korea would fold in a heartbeat (China trade accounts for 90% of the NK GDP). Now that President Trump is applying pressure to China, President Xi is crying foul and saying that it will "poison the overall China-US relationship".

A strong North Korea is a serious detriment to world peace and China could reign it in with a few strokes of a pen - why not do this? Why do they protest so much?

This is what leadership looks like.

Our Korean strategy

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Sounds perfect - from A. F. Branco:

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A great idea from Rand Paul

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Some of his ideas are a bit off into fruit-loop territory but when it comes to basic government operation, he is spot-on. From PJ Media:

Paul Urges 'One of the Easiest, Most Common-Sense Steps' to Rein in Government Waste
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is once again pushing legislation aimed at reducing fiscal waste by requiring Congress to regularly review and consider consolidating or eliminating duplicative programs.

The Legislative Performance Review Act would place a four-year expiration date on all new budget authority included in appropriations acts, while requiring regular reviews for continued budget authority for existing programs. If the program’s authorization expires, the legislation would allow for an “orderly,” two-year wind-down.

“As our national debt rapidly closes in on $20 trillion, we should, at the very least, acknowledge that government should not automatically fund programs without regard for performance or continued need,” Paul said in a statement last week. “Passing this bill is one of the easiest, most common-sense steps we can take to make Congress a better steward of the American people’s money.”

The Kentucky lawmaker pointed out how in 2016 the Congressional Budget Office revealed that in the previous decade, on average, “about one-fourth of total discretionary appropriations were provided for programs and activities whose explicit authorizations of appropriations had expired.” The CBO concluded that “$310 billion – about one-quarter of discretionary appropriations in 2016 – was provided for programs and activities whose explicit authorization of appropriations had expired and whose appropriations could be identified.”

Very simple and would go a long way to starving the beast. When did the leader of a bureaucracy ever say: "Our work here is done - let's have a big party and close up shop!"

I like this guy - he gets things done. From the London Daily Mail:

Philippines' Duterte announces 'dead or alive' bounties
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday announced "dead-or-alive" bounties worth $40,000 each for policemen he accused of helping an accused narco-politician, and said he prefered they be killed.

The call for police officers to kill their colleagues is the latest inflammatory comment by Duterte in his controversial drug war, which has claimed thousands of lives, and comes shortly after a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Duterte made the offer during a speech at national police headquarters, offering two million pesos ($40,000) for an unspecified number of officers who allegedly helped a mayor killed in an anti-drug operation on July 30.

"Each of those policemen carry on their heads now, I am announcing, two million per head and you are free to go on leave (to pursue them)," Duterte told the officers in the audience.

President Duterte was swept into office on just this campaign promise - that he would root out the corruption and drug trade in the Philippines and he is doing just what he promised. Good and good riddance to the drug dealers.

If you can't beat them - politics

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Join them - from FOX News:

West Virginia's Democratic governor to announce party change at Trump rally
West Virginia Democratic Gov. Jim Justice plans to announce at a rally Thursday evening with President Trump that he is changing parties, three Republican sources confirmed to Fox News.

West Virginia is coal country and Trump is bringing back the energy economy - including coal. We are now exporting significant quantities of coal to Europe - in spite of their rhetoric.

From White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders:

From The Wall Street Journal:

Scaramucci Removed as White House Communications Director at Kelly’s Urging
Anthony Scaramucci was removed from his position as White House communications director, just 10 days after his appointment to the post.

Mr. Scaramucci, who is nicknamed “The Mooch,” was removed at the urging of former Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, who was sworn in as White House chief of staff Monday morning. Mr. Kelly is seeking to impose more discipline in the White House, two administration officials said.

After the swearing-in ceremony—which Mr. Scaramucci attended—Mr. Kelly returned to his office, where he informed Mr. Scaramucci in a one-on-one meeting that he was being forced to resign, a White House official said.

The ouster signaled Mr. Kelly’s authority over a White House that has been plagued by competing factions in the first six months of the Trump administration. President Donald Trump has told Mr. Kelly that all White House officials—including longtime advisers such as chief strategist Steve Bannon and family members such as son-in-law Jared Kushner —will report directly to the chief of staff, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at Monday’s news briefing.

Good - General Kelly is exactly who is needed. Mooch has close ties with too many banksters and crony capitalist types. I have zero problem with anyone wanting to make a dollar. I do have a problem if they try to destabilize the playing field to prevent anyone else from even competing. It is healthy competition that makes things so great for us consumers - someone will always come along with the better mousetrap.

A great man for the job

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From Radio Iowa:

Iowan Sam Clovis nominated to be USDA undersecretary
President Trump has nominated an Iowan who was a top policy adviser on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign to serve as the USDA Undersecretary for research, education and economics. Sam Clovis, formerly of Hinton, Iowa, has been working in the USDA since Trump took office, serving as a liaison to the White House.

“This may be the last rodeo I ever have. I can’t believe I’ve had this experience,” Clovis said a year ago during an appearance in Iowa. “But I will tell you this: I can’t imagine anything more important than what I’m doing right now because it’s about the country.”

His nomination to be the top science adviser in the USDA has sparked controversy, as Clovis has said he’s skeptical of climate science.

“I have looked at the science and I have enough of a science background to know when I’m being boofed and I think a lot of what we see is ‘junk science’, so I’m a skeptic,” Clovis said during a 2014 interview on Iowa Public Radio.

Another quote:

“What we see about a lot of this…is really about income redistribution from rich nations that are industrialized to nations that are not and it comes down to this false premise…that we ought to consume based on population rather than on the strength of our economy,” Clovis said. “If we have 20 percent of the world GDP, it wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that we consume 20 percent of the energy of the world.”

He served in the Air Force and was an Economics Professor at an Iowa college so the guy is no slouch. Cue up the lamentations of the liberals....

Seen on Faceb**k

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Says it right there:

20170716-people.jpg

Not him personally but his appointees are doing the work he campaigned on - from CBS News:

Hundreds of VA officials fired since Trump's inauguration
The Department of Veterans Affairs announced today that more than 500 officials have been fired for misconduct since President Trump took office earlier this year, according to data posted online. (PDF file)

In an effort for more transparency and accountability within the VA, Secretary of Veterans Affairs David J. Shulkin announced that a public list of employee "accountability actions" will be posted online and updated weekly.

The list outlines a total of 747 disciplinary actions including 526 employees who were fired since January 20. The actions affected a myriad of positons ranging from a tractor operator to VA attorneys.The list does not include employee names due to privacy reasons but does note the employee's position and VA region.

"Veterans and taxpayers have a right to know what we're doing to hold our employees accountable and make our personnel actions transparent," Secretary Shulkin said in a statement.

Great news - until now, there was zero accountability. If someone royally screwed up at the VA, they would be put on administrative leave and they would then quietly show up at a different office in a different city and get back to "work" often with a pay raise for their troubles. This is the direct outcome of the law that Presidident Trump signed in June

This would have been fun to watch

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Two very alpha males meeting for the first time - from the London Daily Mail:

'No, I didn't hack your election': Trump challenges Putin over meddling in first face-to-face meeting at G20 summit that went on for TWO HOURS and resulted in Syrian ceasefire deal
President Donald Trump raised the simmering issue of Russian election interference in a face-to-face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin – and Putin denied it, according to secretary of state Rex Tillerson.
- - -
Tillerson, who was in the meeting, said the Russians pushed Trump for proof and evidence of a claim the president himself doubted as recently as Thursday.

'The president at this point pressed him and felt like at this point, let’s talk about how do we go forward,' Tillerson said. He said the issue may simply be an 'intractable disagreement.'

A bit more - the deep state in the US:

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Putin was behind a Moscow-backed effort to interfere in the presidential elections. 

Zero evidence for this - Fake News all over the place. The Dems could not accept the fact that they lost so badly so they went looking for an outside agent to blame.

The face-to-face meeting with Putin stretched on for more than two hours – and was quickly followed by news the U.S. and Russia had reached an agreement on a cease fire in Syria.

It was slated to last a half-hour.

After the first hour had gone by, a polite but insistent Melania Trump was sent in to try and break it up, a senior administration official told DailyMail.com.

But it was to no avail. The two leaders and their foreign ministers stayed in the room for two hours and 16 minutes.

Great - this is fantastic - they had a real meeting of the minds. Putin is not our friend - he only has Russia's interests at heart but he understands leadership and recognises that President Trump is as much a leader as he is and is giving him ever measure of respect.

Good times ahead for everyone.

More CNN memes

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These are fun - perfect way to mock the purveyors of Fake News:

A nice distinction by Niall Ferguson at Hot Air:

“Your Worst Nightmare: A Successful Donald Trump Presidency”
But politics, after all, is often a battle of perceptions. Niall Ferguson, a British historian and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution in Stanford, California, said in May: “I think one of the things Guardian readers, and their counterparts on the American coasts, don’t want to think about is the possibility that despite his obvious ineptitude, Trump might actually be successful.

“I said last summer to a bunch of liberal friends, ‘Your worst nightmare is not a Trump presidency; it’s a successful Trump presidency.’ The successful Trump presidency scenario is one in which, despite it all, the economy does better thanks to deregulation and tax cuts, foreign policy delivers some big wins on North Korea, the Middle East.

“It doesn’t take an awful lot for a president to start looking good. If the expectations start really low, which they have done, it may be one win, and I definitely don’t rule out a kind of ‘success in spite of himself’ scenario. And then you begin to wonder if a left-of-Clinton Democrat in 2020 would be blown away. We’ll see. The fun thing about doing history is you really can’t tell at this point which way it will go. It could quite easily go Jimmy Carter and he could be a lame duck.”

Indeed!

Saving our money

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President Trump shows that he knows how to run an organization - from The Daily Caller:

Trumps Spend $5 Million Less Than Obamas On White House Salaries
An analysis of White House salary data reveals that President Donald Trump’s administration is spending $5 million less of taxpayer money on his staff than his predecessor.

Trump employs 377 people at the White House, with a total of $35.8 million, while former President Barack Obama paid $40.9 million for 476 employees in 2015, according to data analyzed by Open The Books.

Another key difference between the Obama and Trump White House is the first lady’s staff. Michelle Obama retained 24 staffers in the first year of the Obama White House. Melania Trump currently employs four — a chief of staff who is also listed as adviser to the president, a deputy chief of staff, a communications director, and a scheduler.

“Projected four-year savings on the White House payroll could top $22 million,”  Adam Andrzejewski, CEO of Open The Books, writes for Forbes. Those projected savings include Trump’s promise to accept one dollar in salary and give the remainder back to the U.S. Treasury.

He is doing what he said he would. Nice to have that happen for a change.

From iOTW Report:

20170630-trump.jpg

Great quote - Theodore Roosevelt

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From the wonderful Quote Investigator website:

From his May 1918 article titled “Lincoln and Free Speech” in Metropolitan Magazine:

PATRIOTISM means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him in so far as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth—whether about the President or about anyone else—save in the rare cases where this would make known to the enemy information of military value which would otherwise be unknown to him.

Roosevelt also wrote this in a 1918 article in The Kansas City Star:

To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or anyone else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about anyone else.

Those in the deep state would do well to heed his words. We The People certainly are...

The new CIA director

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Great sense of humor:

This was at a meeting with President Trump and his cabinet - the media were present.

Nigel Farage is one of my favorite English politicians. Very articulate and not afraid to call a spade a spade. He was the leader of the UKIP (UK Independence Party) but resigned after failing to get elected in one key seat. Now he is back - from CNBC:

Nigel Farage to be given role in Brexit talks under DUP-Conservative deal – reports
British Prime Minister Theresa May could be under pressure to give extreme Eurosceptic Nigel Farage a key role in Brexit negotiations if she strikes an alliance deal with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), according to new reports.

Senior figures in the DUP have told May that she should keep Farage close and allow him to contribute to EU talks in an effort to prevent him from returning to the helm of UKIP, the party he once led, and launching a counter-campaign against her Conservative party, sources told the Sunday Times.

Here is classic Nigel speaking to the head of the European Union (this was before the successful BREXIT vote for England to leave the EU. The President of the EU is an unelected position - the citizens of the EU have zero say in their government:

Kurt  Schlichter on James Comey at Townhall:

From Russia With Stupidity
That towering doofus James Comey crushed the spirits of millions of democracy-hating geebos when, trapped by his own prior testimony, he was forced to admit the truth on national television. And that truth, as those of us not caught up in the whirlpool of Menschian insanity and liberal wishcasting all know, is that the whole Russia thing is a wheelbarrow of fresh Schumer squeezed out by Hillary and her minions in order to create a narrative – any narrative – that would hide the bitter truth. We rejected her, and now we’re rejecting the Russia idiocy too.

Much more at the site - caution, multiple drink alert. Schlichter is on his form with this one.

An interesting parallel

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Dr. Victor Davis Hanson is one of America's treasures. He is a classicist and historian. Studying history is important because History doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes. Today's essay is from the Hoover Institutution:

Trump… Our Claudius
The Roman Emperor Claudius, who reigned from 41 to 54 AD, was never supposed to be emperor. He came to office at age 50, an old man in Roman times. Claudius succeeded the charismatic, youthful heartthrob Caligula—son of the beloved Germanicus and the “little boot” who turned out to be a narcissist monster before being assassinated in office.

More:

The stereotyped impression of Claudius was that of a simpleton not to be taken seriously—and so no one did. Claudius himself claimed that he feigned acting differently in part so that he would not be targeted by enemies before he assumed power, and to unnerve them afterwards.

Contemporary critics laughed at his apparent lack of eloquence and rhetorical mastery, leading some scholars to conjecture that he may have suffered from Tourette syndrome or a form of autism. The court biographer Suetonius wrote that Claudius “was now careful and shrewd, sometimes hasty and inconsiderate, occasionally silly and like a crazy man.”

Sound familiar?

Heh - more:

Claudius’s rule of some 13 years as emperor was marked by financial reforms and restoration after the disastrous reign of the spendthrift Caligula. Claudius-haters like Seneca, Suetonius, and Tacitus focused mostly on Claudius as the uncouth outsider—and overlooked what he had done for Rome after the disasters of the Caligula regime.

The empire under Claudius grew and was largely at peace. Rome annexed Britain, and added a variety of border provinces in the east. While court insiders and gossipers ridiculed Claudius’s supposed ineptness, he nonetheless assembled one of the most gifted staffs of advisers and operatives—many of them freed slaves—in the history of the Julio-Claudian and Flavian dynasties.

Claudius was foremost a builder and a pragmatist. Some of the Roman Empire’s most impressive archaeological remains (such as the Aqua Claudia and Aqua Anio Novus aqueducts and the reconstituted port at Ostia) date from his reign, as he focused on constructing new infrastructure and improving Roman roads, bridges, ports, and aqueducts.

The early few months of the Trump presidency are, in many ways, Claudian. Trump is likewise an outsider who, in the view of the Washington aristocracy, should never have been president.

The thrice-married Trump was supposedly too old, too crude, too coarse, and too reckless in his past private life. His critics now allege that the blunt-talking Trump suffers from some sort of psychological or physical ailment, given that his accent, diction, grammar, and general manner of speaking, as well as his comportment, just don’t seem presidential.

Much more at the site - the parallels are very eerie. Dr. Hanson closes with these cautionary paragraphs:

From what we can tell, the more Rome prospered under Claudius, the more the imperial court grew to despise him—as if his odd mannerisms and the even odder way he came to power could not be squared with the able administration of a far-flung empire over the 13 years of his reign.

In the end, Claudius was likely murdered by dynastic rivals and relatives who thought that a young, glib, handsome, intellectual, and artistic Nero would be a pleasant relief from the awkwardness, bluntness, and weirdness of Claudius. What followed was the triumph of artists, intellectuals, stylish aristocrats, obsequious dynastic insiders, and flatterers—many of them eventually to be consumed by the reign of terror they so eagerly helped to usher in.

The comments are a good read too.

Rather than filtering communications through the dismal swamp of the State Department, he is going direct - from USA Today:

Trump hands out his cellphone number, urges leaders to call him
President Donald Trump has been handing out his cellphone number to world leaders and urging them to call him directly, an unusual invitation that breaks diplomatic protocol and is raising concerns about the security and secrecy of the U.S. commander in chief’s communications.

Trump has urged leaders of Canada and Mexico to reach him on his cellphone, according to former and current U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the practice. Of the two, only Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has taken advantage of the offer so far, the officials said.

Trump also exchanged numbers with French President Emmanuel Macron when the two spoke immediately following Macron’s victory earlier this month, according to a French official, who would not comment on whether Macron intended to use the line.

All the officials demanded anonymity because they were not authorized to reveal the conversations. Neither the White House nor Trudeau’s office responded to requests for comment.

Keeps the leakers out of the loop too - brilliant!

So sad, too bad. From GotNews:

BREAKING: Desperate To Stay Solvent, Metropolitan Republican Club’s Anti-Trump Board Struggles To Sell Event Tickets
New York City’s Metropolitan Republican Club took in only $330 at its door at a club event last week, far below typical $1,000 to $2,000 nightly takes in years past, according to a report compiled by Met Club Secretary Ambrose Benkert. The club has fallen on hard times after working against President Donald J. Trump throughout the general election.

“I think if [club board leadership] would have read the writing on the wall a little bit better—that this is the era of Trump—then they could have avoided a lot of this trouble,” says Allan Stevo. Stevo was among presidential loyalists on the club board before unpatriotic members purged the loyalists in January.

Adds Stevo, “Sadly, with all of this infighting, some of the enthusiasm has been zapped from the club.”

Time for another purge only this time, to reverse the changes of the first one. #maga

He will be visiting Israel on this trip - from The Times of Israel:

Saudi FM: Trump can broker Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, and we’ll help
Saudi Arabia is confident in US President Donald Trump’s abilities to conclude a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians and Riyadh is prepared to help, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Saturday evening, during a press conference with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Jubeir spoke of the “kingdom’s optimism that President Trump, with a new approach and determination, can bring a conclusion to this long conflict. He certainly has the vision, and we believe he has the strength and the decisiveness. And the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stands prepared to work with the United States in order to bring about peace between Israelis and Palestinians and Israelis and Arabs.”

The Saudi FM said he was speaking on behalf of the king following an earlier meeting between the US President and the Saudi monarch.

Jubeir said Saudi Arabia stresses the “importance of working toward peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”

This will be interesting to see - the pre-1967 borders should not be on the table. The Saudi's have previously been supporting "Palestine" - it will be interesting if they switch sides here.

An interesting comparison

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Two leaders - President Trump is in Saudi Arabia and met with the King. From The American Mirror:

GREAT AGAIN: Unlike Obama, Trump doesn’t bow to Saudi king
What a difference an election can make for the respect American leaders have for our country.

There were two very different outcomes when two American presidents greeted the king of Saudi Arabia.

All eyes were on President Trump today as he arrived in the country for his first foreign trip.

Video shows the president stepping off the plane and greeting King Salman:

Trump stood up straight as Salman appeared to bow slightly.

Trump’s posture stands in stark difference to President Obama’s in the early days of his presidency.

Cameras captured Obama bowing to King Abdullah, contorting nearly to a 90-degree angle in what many called a moment of American weakness:

Melania wasn't wearing a burqa either. The King even shook hands with her. This is one of the best examples of leadership and lack thereof in the public eye.

Good - shut it down for a while

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From The Hill:

Dems: Trump budget is recipe for shutdown
House Democratic leaders are warning Republicans that President Trump’s 2018 budget is a recipe for a government shutdown.

Trump has yet to unveil his finalized budget blueprint for next year, but an initial outline released in March — dubbed a “skinny budget” — proposed a $54 billion increase in defense spending, accompanied by offsetting cuts to domestic programs favored by the Democrats.

Time to call their bluff - we need to curb spending. At least with President Trump in office, the shutdown will not be done selectivly to cause public pain like Obama's 2013 shutdown.

Not like we haven't had shutdowns before...

President Trump and the Police

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Our President is spot on here - from the Washington Examiner:

Trump to light White House in blue Monday night to honor fallen police officers
President Trump will light the White House in blue on Monday night to honor fallen police officers, after his visit to Capitol Hill to memorialize officers killed in the line of duty.

"In humble appreciation of our hard-working law enforcement officers, Melania and I will light the White House in blue on May 15," Trump announced in a statement released shortly before his Capitol appearance.

Trump has frequently spoken about the need to protect police from targeted acts of violence, and said during his candidacy that he would be the "law and order candidate."

Send a message out to all the dindus out there that killing a cop is no longer "cool" - this is an act that Barry would never have even thought of let alone implement.

From William A. Jacobson writing at Legal Insurrection:

Trump begins counter-packing federal courts, Dems can’t stop him thanks to Reid Rule
As we have pointed out repeatedly, Trump has an unprecedented opportunity to nominate a substantial percentage of the federal judiciary.

There are currently over 100 vacancies, and many more are likely to open up, Liberal nightmare: Trump could appoint half federal judiciary. Yet Democrats, so blinded by the light of #TheResistance, appeared oblivious to the approaching Tsunami of Trump lower court nominations.

Today the first waves of the Trump judicial nomination tsunami hit the beaches in D.C.

USA Today reports, Trump names 10 conservatives to federal courts

More at the site - the first ten look really good. 90+ more to go. Senator Harry Reid eliminated the filibuster in 2013 - bet he wishes he could take it back now...

The news of yesterdays emergency meeting  at Buckingham Palace has an update from the London Daily Mail:

'Sorry to hear you're standing down, sir.' 'Well I can't stand up much longer!' Prince Philip, 95, seals his retirement in typically humorous style as he prepares to end 70 years of royal duties
Prince Philip has taken a typically irreverent view on his own retirement today telling one man who said he was sorry he was standing down: 'Well I can't stand up for much longer'.

The Duke of Edinburgh made himself and a crowd of guests roar with laughter while with the Queen at an Order of Merit service at St James's Palace just an hour after announcing he will end his public royal duties at the age of 95.

A bit more:

His well-earned retirement comes after 70 years dedicated service to Britain and Her Majesty, who has given him her 'full support' to step down.

It was announced at a top secret emergency meeting called by Buckingham Palace and attended by other royals including his daughter Princess Anne.

The difficult decision was made by Philip himself and he will step back just before he and the Queen reach their 70 year platinum wedding anniversary in November. The Queen will continue her public engagements as she has always vowed to serve her country for as long as she lives.

Good news - I dread the day that the Queen dies and Prince Charles ascends to the throne - he will be a disaster for England and the Queen knows it. This is why she made the vow to serve her country for as long as she lives.

Never visited there but would love to. Their President is taking a zero bullshit response to drugs that is being very effective. The liberals are calling him every name in the book but he is turning the nation around and cleaning house. From The New York Times:

Trump Invites Rodrigo Duterte to the White House
President Trump on Saturday invited the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, to the White House, embracing an authoritarian leader who is accused of ordering extrajudicial killings of drug suspects and who crudely disparaged Mr. Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.

Mr. Trump had a “very friendly conversation with Mr. Duterte,” according to a statement issued by the White House late Saturday. It said that the two leaders “discussed the fact that the Philippines is fighting very hard to rid its country of drugs.”

In fact, Mr. Duterte’s war on drugs has resulted in the deaths of several thousand people suspected of using or selling narcotics, as well as others who may have had no involvement with drugs. Human rights groups and many Western governments have condemned Mr. Duterte for the bloody campaign.

A spokesman for Mr. Duterte, Ernesto Abella, confirmed the White House invitation, saying that Mr. Trump had expressed “his understanding and appreciation of the challenges facing the Philippine president, especially on the matter” of drugs.

Great news - President Duterte was elected by the people of the Philippines because it was on the brink of disaster from drug trafficking. He is doing what he promised to do - much like President Trump.

We have to go to the English media - from the London Daily Mail:

The First Lady blossoms! Melania dedicates new healing garden at the Children's National Medical Center with a touching play-date filled with hugs at the hospital
First Lady Melania Trump dedicated a new garden for patients at one of America's leading children's hospitals on Friday as she grows more comfortable in the White House role.

Patients at the Children's National Medical Center will be able to spend time outside in a healing garden while enjoying views of the National Mall and Washington Monument from the the hospital's new rooftop.

Melania spent the afternoon working with children as they colored a floral coloring sheet with a pink marker and bonding with a girl who was celebrating her birthday.

She reminds me a lot of Jacqueline Kennedy - very gracious and classy lady.

From the Yonhap News Agency:

N. Korea fails in missile test: S. Korean military
North Korea launched a ballistic missile on Saturday, which apparently exploded seconds after liftoff, South Korea's military said.

"North Korea fired an unidentified missile from a site in the vicinity of Bukchang in Pyeongannam-do (South Pyeongan Province) in the northeastern direction at around 5:30 a.m today," the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. "It is estimated to have failed."

I bet his missileers are shitting their pants right now - Kim is losing face to the world and he does not take this graciously. A united Korea would be an economic powerhouse.

Good news - education

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Trump is pulling the Federal Government out of the education business. From The Washington Times:

Trump to pull feds out of K-12 education
President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to start pulling the federal government out of K-12 education, following through on a campaign promise to return school control to state and local officials.

The order, dubbed the “Education Federalism Executive Order,” will launch a 300-day review of Obama-era regulations and guidance for school districts and directs Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to modify or repeal measures she deems a overreach by the federal government.

“For too long the government has imposed its will on state and local governments. The result has been education that spends more and achieves far, far, far less,” Mr. Trump said. “My administration has been working to reverse this federal power grab and give power back to families, cities [and] states — give power back to localities.”

He said that previous administrations had increasingly forced schools to comply with “whims and dictates” from Washington, but his administration would break the trend.

Very good news - to understand why, you just have to look at this graph from The Cato Institute:

cato_education.jpg

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