Recently in Politics Category

Brazil at Davos

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I would love to visit that nation - they finally have someone really good as a leader and they are going to show up all the corrupt socialist South American states by example. From France24 / Agence France-Presse:

Bolsonaro to present 'new Brazil' in Davos
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Monday he will present to the world leaders gathering in Davos the "new Brazil" he and his new government are working on, one that will be friendlier to investors and agribusiness.

"We want to show... that Brazil is taking measures so that the world re-establishes confidence in us," Bolsonaro told reporters as he arrived in the Swiss ski resort hosting the World Economic Forum meeting.

The new far-right leader of Latin America's biggest economy is the star attraction of Davos in the absence of US President Donald Trump and several other prominent heads of state.

On Tuesday, he said that he will present a "very short" speech setting out the pro-market direction Brazil will take with him at the helm -- a path "without being guided by ideology," he promised.

Emphasis mine - yes!!! Faster please!!!

A good speech - President Trump

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He hit my talking points:

Interesting news - President Trump

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This should be good:

Heh - hoist with his own petard

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Fun times - from The Washington Examiner:

Pelosi only gives Trump a bigger audience by canceling State of the Union
It would be an excellent way to snub any other president, but by calling for President Trump to reschedule the State of the Union, Nancy Pelosi has only given him a bigger stage.

It is a remarkable unforced error.

Citing national security, and specifically the difficulties facing the Secret Service and Capitol Police amid the government shutdown, House Speaker Pelosi, D-Calif., is asking Trump either to select a later, post-shutdown date or to submit his comments on State of the Union in writing, which presidents used to do commonly before the television era. But no one should be fooled — the real concern here is that Trump is going to stand up in front of a gigantic audience and literally point the finger at congressional Democrats in the House chamber, blaming them for shutting down the government.

Pelosi has the power to stop Trump from walking into the House of Representatives and delivering a speech, but she can’t stop him from making his case for the border wall in prime time. Just consider the address he delivered from the Resolute Desk last week.

Trump talked for roughly eight minutes and 43.3 million tuned in to watch, according to the AP’s count. Compare that to Trump’s very first joint address to Congress, right after his election, which 48 million watched. No congressional podium last week, and arguably far less interest in the novelty of his presidency, yet Trump drew an audience nearly as large.

If Pelosi insists, then Trump can speak from the Oval Office again if he likes. He could even march down the National Mall and deliver the speech on Pelosi’s doorstep. There could be a band. There could be fireworks. No matter what venue he chooses, there will be an audience, and it will probably be bigger now, thanks to Pelosi.

Like I said, fun times. The State of the Union address is specified as such in our Constitution (Article II, Section 3, Clause 1) (Article II outlines the duties, powers and responsibilities of the President and the Executive Branch)

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient...

Nothing in there that says it has to be presented in the halls of Congress. Behind the Resolute Desk would be fine. He could hire out the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium and invite 50,000 of his friends.

Infogalactic page for: "hoist with his own petard"

The Great Undoing

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Really nice essay by Scott Johnson writing at PowerLine:

In his great undoing of the “accomplishments” of the Obama administration, President Trump has withdrawn the United States from the humiliating and destructive Iran nuclear deal. The deal funded a terrorist regime that remains at war with the United States and that continues to avow its dedication to our destruction. The Trump administration has also reimposed sanctions on the Iranian regime.

There was no bridge too far for Obama in seeking to align the United States with the mullahs of Iran. Michael Doran explained the “secret strategy” driving this policy. Whatever the explanation, Obama’s appeasement of Iran represented part of the “fundamental transformation” of the United States that he proclaimed in the days before the 2008 election. I am grateful for the intercession of President Trump and his national security team in its great undoing of Obama administration foreign policy.

Secretary Pompeo is in the Middle East. His trip has been obscured in the news by events at home. The great undoing continues.

Yesterday Pompeo gave a speech at the American University in Cairo. The speech was a sort of counterpart to Obama’s June 2009 speech in Cairo. Obama’s speech was a nauseating exercise in fake history, destructive diplomacy and strategic self-destruction. By contrast, Secretary Pompeo represents the voice of sanity. In substance he repudiated Obama’s speech and related strategic vision. Pompeo could not have been more blunt:

Remember: It was here, here in this city, that another American stood before you.

He told you that radical Islamist terrorism does not stem from an ideology.

He told you that 9/11 led my country to abandon its ideals, particularly in the Middle East.

He told you that the United States and the Muslim world needed, quote, “a new beginning,” end of quote.

The results of these misjudgments have been dire.

In falsely seeing ourselves as a force for what ails the Middle East, we were timid in asserting ourselves when the times – and our partners – demanded it.

We grossly underestimated the tenacity and viciousness of radical Islamism, a debauched strain of the faith that seeks to upend every other form of worship or governance. ISIS drove to the outskirts of Baghdad as America hesitated. They raped and pillaged and murdered tens of thousands of innocents. They birthed a caliphate across Syria and Iraq and launched terror attacks that killed all across continents.

America’s reluctance, our reluctance, to wield our influence kept us silent as the people of Iran rose up against the mullahs in Tehran in the Green Revolution. The ayatollahs and their henchmen murdered, jailed, and intimidated freedom-loving Iranians, and they wrongly blamed America for this unrest when it was their own tyranny that had fueled it. Emboldened, the regime spread its cancerous influence to Yemen, to Iraq, to Syria, and still further into Lebanon.

Our penchant, America’s penchant, for wishful thinking led us to look the other way as Hizballah, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Iranian regime, accumulated a massive arsenal of approximately 130,000 rockets and missiles. They stored and positioned these weapons in Lebanese towns and villages in flagrant violation of international law. That arsenal is aimed squarely at our ally Israel.

When Bashar Assad unleashed terror upon ordinary Syrians and barrel-bombed civilians with sarin gas, a true echo of Saddam Hussein’s gassing of the Kurdish people, we condemned his actions. But in our hesitation to wield power, we did nothing.

Much more at the site. President Obama's legacy is in tatters. What people will remember him for is just like Jimmy Carter gave us President Reagan, Obama gave us President Trump. Obama made enough people sick of his crap that the majority of Americans voted for the Orange Man. Pompeo is the right man for the job. Much better than J. F. Kerry and Hillary? Don't get me started...

North Korea - progress

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I had written on the 8th of this month that Kim Jong-Un was making a surprise visit to China at the same time that a US envoy was there to discuss trades and tariffs. Today, from The Korea Times:

Kim Jong-un committed to denuclearization, 2nd US summit: Chinese media
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has reaffirmed his commitment to the denuclearization and vowed efforts to produce good results from his second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, Chinese state media said Thursday.

Kim made the pledge during his summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Tuesday, according to Xinhua News Agency. Kim was in China for a four-day trip, his fourth visit to the neighboring ally in about 10 months.

"The DPRK will continue sticking to the stance of denuclearization and resolving the Korean Peninsula issue through dialogue and consultation, and make efforts for the second summit between DPRK and U.S. leaders to achieve results that will be welcomed by the international community," Xinhua quoted Kim as saying during talks with Xi.

And the old carrot and stick:

Kim's trip to China, which was made at the invitation of Beijing, came amid speculation that a second summit between the North's leader and U.S. President Donald Trump is imminent.

Pyongyang and Washington have been locked in a stalemate over how to carry out the agreements they reached in their first-ever summit in June, at which Kim promised to work toward complete denuclearization in exchange for security guarantees from the U.S.

Progress has been slow ever since as the North wants sanctions relief, while the U.S. remains firm that sanctions will remain in place until the North completely gives up its nuclear weapons program.

Emphasis mine. Obama would have sent John Kerry over there to "negotiate" from a "strong position" and "send a strongly worded message" and things would be same as it ever was. The Norks would keep their nukes and we would roll back the sanctions "in good faith". President Trump understands the reality and is keeping the pressure up until they completely denuclearize. Kerry is this generation's Neville Chamberlain.

Nice essay from Conrad Black

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Some thoughtful observations at Canada's National Post:

Conrad Black: America's resurgence is reshaping the world
Almost indiscernible in the endless tumult about President Donald Trump is the objective return of American might, right on our doorstep. A casual sampler of the Canadian, and even the American, media, might think that the United States was so far along in its decline that the entire process of government and normal public discourse had broken down in that country, and that the much-discussed process of national decline was accelerating in a climate of virtual chaos.

In fact, the economy of the United States is astoundingly strong: full employment, an expanding work force, negligible inflation and about three per cent economic growth. And it is a broad economic recovery, not based on service industries as in the United Kingdom (where London handles most of Europe’s financial industry, while most of British industry has fled), and not based largely on the fluctuating resources markets as has often been Canada’s experience. In the eight years of president Obama, the United States lost 219,000 manufacturing jobs; in the two years of Trump, the country has added 477,000 manufacturing jobs. This was not supposed to be possible, and this time, unlike in the great Reagan boom, it cannot be dismissed by the left (and it was false in the eighties) as a profusion of “hamburger flippers, dry cleaners and people delivering pizza,” (all necessary occupations).

Our President is a businessman - he knows how to run things effectively be it a hotel or a nation.

His take on the European Union is spot on:

The problem with the European Union is both practical and theoretical. As a practical matter, it is governed by a bureaucracy of Dutch and Belgian scribes and functionaries that is answerable neither to the ludicrous European Parliament in Strasbourg, the ultimate irrelevant talking shop, nor to the principal member states, and is exacting its revenge for centuries of deference to France, Germany and Britain.

Global issues?

Canadians may not like it; the world may try to pretend otherwise, but however the domestic political tides of America may flow, North Korea is on its best behaviour, the ayatollahs are quaking in their voluminous raiment, and all America’s trade partners, including Canada and China, are accepting what amounts to unilateral renegotiation by the U.S. No other country in the world has any appreciable influence at all more than a few hundred miles from its borders (an area that includes 95 per cent of the population of Canada).

All true and all good for everyone. Some excellent observations and it is worth your time to read the whole essay.
Baron Black of Crossharbour is a very interesting person. He has done a lot and writes well.

A good speech

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It will be interesting to see the Democrat rebuttal:

Journalist Don Surber noticed two headlines and did some analysis - the headlines are links:

And here is Don's take:

Kim is in China during trade talks
One and one make two. Trust me on this.

President Trump imposed tariffs on Red China, and the Fake News media cried trade war, and then told us no one wins a trade war.

President Trump imposed sanctions and bluster on North Korea, and the Fake News media cried nuclear war.

Now we just happen to be discussing a new trade deal in Beijing, and Kim just happens to travel to Beijing to celebrate his birthday.

A criminal lawyer once told me that 35 years in the courts had taught him there is no such thing as a coincidence.

Excellent news for everyone. Art of the deal indeed.

RBG - health issues?

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Interesting - from Associated Press:

Ginsburg missing Supreme Court arguments for 1st time
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is missing arguments for the first time in more than 25 years as she recuperates from cancer surgery last month, the Supreme Court said.

Ginsburg was not on the bench as the court met Monday to hear arguments. It was not clear when she would return to the court, which will hear more cases on Tuesday and Wednesday, and again next week.

Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said the 85-year-old justice is continuing to recuperate and work from home after doctors removed two cancerous growths from her left lung on Dec. 21.

If she wanted to continue her progressive legacy, she should have retired during Obama's term. Now, will President Trump get to appoint a third Originalist to the Supreme Court? Sure looks like it now.

Heh - border deniers

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Lieutenant Commander Dan Crenshaw (Retired) is the Congressman-elect to replace retiring Congressman Ted Poe as the Representative for Texas’ 2nd Congressional District. In a crowded primary Dan overcame the odds and emerged from a nine candidate field by 155 votes. He earned the Republican nomination by winning almost 70% of the vote in the run-off..

Two from his twitter account:

I love the way he is flipping the narrative - climate deniers? Border deniers.


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Talk about over the top - almost sprayed coffee over my laptop. Pitch perfect:

He had way too much fun with this.

Happy new year from President DJT

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Says it all:

Great news from Korea

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From ABC News:

Koreas hold symbolic groundbreaking ceremony to link railroads across border
The two Koreas held a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony in Kaesong, North Korea, on Wednesday to link the coutries' railroads across the border and modernize North Korea’s decades-old railway system.

A delegation of 100 South Korean government officials, lawmakers and senior citizens separated from their families during the Korean War traveled across the border by train.

North Korea’s head of the Committee for Unification, Ri Son Gwon, was joined by officials from China and Russia to witness the event, which included signing a wooden railroad tie and unveiling a new signboard that read “Seoul-Pyongyang.”

I love that they have a "Committee for Unification" - a few years ago, this would have been an impossibility.

Thanks President Trump...

This is just pure gold - James Mattis

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Excellent autopsy of General Mattis' tenure as Secretary of Defense from James Durso writing at The Hill:

The education of James Mattis
Defense Secretary James Mattis resigned after President Donald Trump told him he would keep his promise to remove all U.S. troops from Syria. Mattis shouldn’t have been surprised, as Trump campaigned on that promise, and in March said "We're knocking the hell out of ISIS. We'll be coming out of Syria like very soon. Let the other people take care of it now." He then put a hold on $200 million of Syria recovery funds. In April, Trump gave the Pentagon another six months, and on Thursday, eight months later, he pulled the plug.


Trump was never comfortable with America’s too-little, too-late intervention in Syria, a place Washington is not convinced is very important; we are really just there out of habit. The desultory commitment of 2,000 troops is just big enough to get in trouble, and too small to make a strategic difference. If the Pentagon thinks the “light footprint” model that worked in Afghanistan will work in Syria, a crowded battlespace hosting epic ruined cities, displaced persons, regime fighters, resistance fighters, troops from America, Russia, Turkey, Iran, Hezbollah, and a few other outfits on the DL, it is malpractice of the most serious sort.

Russia, Iran, and Turkey, on the other hand, are convinced Syria is vital so they are ready to do whatever it takes. Trump saw a third costly, endless entanglement staring us in the face and opted out. Like he said, “Let the other people take care of it now.”


It’s not clear why Mattis volunteered to be Trump’s Secretary of Defense — we’ll have to wait for the book deal and speaking tour to learn that — but he was ill-equipped to serve a President who arrived at the White House uninterested in being beholden to the ways of the national security bureaucracy, "…the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”

Also brilliant:

Mattis spent much of his time telling whoever would listen that he was at the Pentagon to protect it from the Commander-in-Chief, which is pedestrian Washington, D.C. image management, at odds with the selfless, soldier-scholar image he cultivated. Mattis the man is not the Mattis of myth.

Slow-rolling the President’s desires — such as creating the Space Force or banning transgender troops from the military — forced Trump to do what Obama did: make the critical national defense decisions in the West Wing. Not to worry, though: if the Pentagon follows @realDonaldTrump they’ll learn about them soon enough.

Much more at the site - I am going to see if Mr. Durso writes anywhere else and follow him. Good intelligent analysis.
President Trump is different than the Washington elites - he does not think like them and this is a major advantage. He is also a lot smarter then them - something that they will not admit to. Classical Dunning–Kruger effect on their part.

I love this woman - Sarah Sanders

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Press Secretary Sarah Sanders is amazing. Not afraid to speak her mind. I love this.

Spot on - Pelosi is only interested in Pelosi and power. Not the wishes of We The People.

Great news - USA and Brazil

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Brazil is looking at seriously getting tough on crime - including a license to kill criminals caught in the act.
Now this from Associated Press:

US seeks close ties with Brazil’s new leader
The Trump administration is seeking to cement close ties with Brazil’s incoming far-right leader with a visit to the country next week by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Pompeo will lead the U.S. delegation to President-elect Jair Bolsonaro’s inauguration on New Year’s Day.

The State Department said Friday that Pompeo would discuss increasing U.S.-Brazil trade and investment, particularly in the technology, defense and agriculture sectors. It said Pompeo would also raise democracy concerns about Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela as well as potential threats from China’s growing presence in Latin America.

Very cool - we do not have a really strong ally in South America - a couple "friends" but we give them huge amounts of foreign aid which just goes into the Swiss bank accounts of their elites. Brazil will set an example of what civilization can be like. Prosperity for all instead of cheap bread and circuses for the masses and palaces for the elites.

Would not mind visiting there in a couple of years.

Shutdowns are not a new thing - we have had them all through history. The government does a partial shutdown every weekend. From Associated Press:

Shutdown due at midnight after lawmakers fail to reach deal
White House negotiators left the Capitol late Friday, and the House and Senate adjourned without a spending deal, all but ensuring a partial government shutdown at midnight with President Donald Trump demanding billions of dollars for his long-promised Mexican border wall.

Trump’s top envoys were straining to broker a last-minute compromise with Democrats and some of their own Republican Party’s lawmakers. But Vice President Mike Pence, incoming White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and senior adviser Jared Kushner departed after hours spent dashing back and forth, with no outward signs of an agreement.

Hey - Associated Press. Your bias is showing. President Trump campaigned on draining the swamp and building a border wall. He was swept into office by the majority of We The People. It is not Trump's long-promised Mexican border wall, it is the border wall that we want. Us. The Normals.

I hope that Schumer et. al. blink first. Trump needs to stand strong on this.

This is sweet - Project Veritas

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James O'Keefe and Project Veritas have been going around with hidden video equipment recording people in power making fools of themselves and showing them to be acting with an agenda that does not coincide with the wishes of We The People and which violate the terms of our Constitution. He releases these tapes on a regular basis. His tapes were what brought down ACORN.

Some of the people have tried using legal means to stop him. He just won a major court case - from The Washington Times:

Judge rules Americans can secretly record public officials in victory for Project Veritas
A federal judge ruled Monday that Americans have a right to secretly record their public officials, including police, when they are engaged in their government duties.

U.S. District Chief Judge Patti B. Saris said a Massachusetts law banning secret recordings violates the First Amendment when it comes to government employees, rejecting the state’s claims that officials need some space to be able to operate without having to worry about being monitored.

“This is not to say that police and government officials have no privacy interests,” she wrote. “However, the diminished privacy interests of government officials performing their duties in public must be balanced by the First Amendment interest in newsgathering and information-dissemination.”

She ruled in favor of two sets of plaintiffs, one of which regularly livestreamed video of police officers performing their duties, and the other James O’Keefe, whose Project Veritas specializes in catching public policy figures saying embarrassing things.

Mr. O’Keefe called the ruling groundbreaking.

Excellent. Personal rights and personal freedoms are alive and well.

What do you know - tariffs actually work!

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This is my surprised face - from Market Watch:

China to slash tariffs on U.S. auto imports to 15%
China agreed to reduce tariffs on U.S. autos to 15%, down from 40% currently, during a phone call with U.S. officials that opened the latest round of trade talks aimed at settling a trade dispute festering between the world’s two largest economic powers.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He informed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer of the move in a phone call late Monday evening, Washington time, the person said, which restarted trade talks between the two nations. It wasn’t clear when the change would take effect, but Washington is pushing Beijing to make concessions as soon as possible.

They are not something to be used widely but when wielded with finesse, they can accomplish wonders.

Wonderful - from Andy Serkis:

Heh - Camille Paglia

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I do not always agree with her but she is whip smart and not afraid to speak her mind.
Case in point - from the Spectator:

‘Hillary wants Trump to win again’
Camille Paglia is one of the most interesting and explosive thinkers of our time. She transgresses academic boundaries and blows up media forms. She’s brilliant on politics, art, literature, philosophy, and the culture wars. She’s also very keen on the email Q and A format for interviews. So, after reading her new collection of essays, Provocations, Spectator USA sent her some questions.

You’ve been a sharp political prognosticator over the years. So can I start by asking for a prediction. What will happen in 2020 in America? Will Hillary Clinton run again?

If the economy continues strong, Trump will be reelected. The Democrats (my party) have been in chaos since the 2016 election and have no coherent message except Trump hatred. Despite the vast pack of potential candidates, no one yet seems to have the edge. I had high hopes for Kamala Harris, but she missed a huge opportunity to play a moderating, statesmanlike role and has already imprinted an image of herself as a ruthless inquisitor that will make it hard for her to pull voters across party lines.

Screechy Elizabeth Warren has never had a snowball’s chance in hell to appeal beyond upper-middle-class professionals of her glossy stripe. Kirsten Gillibrand is a wobbly mediocrity. Cory Booker has all the gravitas of a cork. Andrew Cuomo is a yapping puppy with a long, muddy bullyboy tail. Both Bernie Sanders (for whom I voted in the 2016 primaries) and Joe Biden (who would have won the election had Obama not cut him off at the knees) are way too old and creaky.

To win in the nation’s broad midsection, the Democratic nominee will need to project steadiness, substance, and warmth. I’ve been looking at Congresswoman Cheri Bustos of Illinois and Governor Steve Bullock of Montana. As for Hillary, she’s pretty much damaged goods, but her perpetual, sniping, pity-me tour shows no signs of abating. She still has a rabidly loyal following, but it’s hard to imagine her winning the nomination again, with her iron grip on the Democratic National Committee now gone. Still, it’s in her best interest to keep the speculation fires burning. Given how thoroughly she has already sabotaged the rising candidates by hogging the media spotlight, I suspect she wants Trump to win again. I don’t see our stumbling, hacking, shop-worn Evita yielding the spotlight willingly to any younger gal.

"stumbling, hacking, shop-worn Evita" - nails it! Again, the Democrats have nothing to run on so they have to steal the elections. There is no leadership there. As I have said before, if John Fitzgerald Kennedy were running today, I would vote for him in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, the Overton Window has shifted too far.

Rioting in France

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Macron's capitulation and President Trump's response - summed up in a tweet:

Looks like the Chinese tarrifs worked - from Bloomberg:

Presidents Trump and Xi Agree Not to Impose Further Tariffs From January
U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to keep their trade war from escalating with a promise to temporarily halt the imposition of new tariffs as the world’s two largest economies negotiate a lasting agreement.

The truce between the U.S. and China emerged after a highly anticipated dinner Saturday between Trump and Xi on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Argentina. The leaders agreed to stop the introduction of new tariffs and intensify their trade talks, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters hours later in Buenos Aires.

The White House called the meeting “highly successful,” saying the U.S. will leave existing tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods at 10 percent and refrain from raising that rate to 25 percent as planned on Jan. 1. In exchange, the U.S. wants an immediate start to talks on Trump’s biggest complaints about Chinese trade practices: intellectual property theft, non-tariff barriers and cyber theft.

After 90 days, if there’s no progress on structural reform, the U.S. will raise those tariffs to 25 percent, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. China also agreed to boost its purchases of agricultural and industrial goods to reduce its trade imbalance with the U.S., she said.

These are baby steps but no other President has gotten China to even consider this so we have a half-year of instability for a permanent solution to our trade imbalance. This coming on the heels of the re-visited NAFTA trade agreement shows what an effective leader President Trump is.

Christmas decoration

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Very classy move by President Trump

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From the White House:

Presidential Proclamation Announcing the Death of George H.W. Bush
It is my sorrowful duty to announce officially the death of George Herbert Walker Bush, the forty-first President of the United States, on November 30, 2018.

President Bush led a great American life, one that combined and personified two of our Nation’s greatest virtues: an entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to public service. Our country will greatly miss his inspiring example.

On the day he turned 18, 6 months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, George H.W. Bush volunteered for combat duty in the Second World War. The youngest aviator in United States naval history at the time, he flew 58 combat missions, including one in which, after taking enemy fire, he parachuted from his burning plane into the Pacific Ocean. After the war, he returned home and started a business. In his words, “the big thing” he learned from this endeavor was “the satisfaction of creating jobs.”

And this:

I do further appoint December 5, 2018, as a National Day of Mourning throughout the United States. I call on the American people to assemble on that day in their respective places of worship, there to pay homage to the memory of President George H.W. Bush. I invite the people of the world who share our grief to join us in this solemn observance.

Nice words about a great man. Then we have this from The Hill:

Trump to send presidential aircraft to Houston to pick up George H.W. Bush's casket
President Trump said Saturday he will be sending the presidential aircraft to pick up George H.W. Bush’s casket from Texas and bring it to Washington, where the late president will lie in state in the Capitol starting Monday.

“Air Force One will be taking myself and a large group of our people back to Washington. It will then be reset and it will be sent to Houston to pick up the casket of President Bush and then be brought back to Washington,” Trump said at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“We’ll be sending Air Force One, which is a special tribute that he deserves very much and it’s my honor, and again, he’ll be greatly missed. Terrific person, terrific man,” Trump added.

That is a very nice touch. Classy.

President Trump - funny

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Not only a great leader, he is funnier than hell - this tweet for instance:

Thank you President Trump - North Korea

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Further progress on a lasting peace between the two Koreas - from ABC News:

North Korea detonates DMZ guard posts at southern border
North Korea blew up 10 of its front-line guard posts in the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas on Tuesday in accordance with agreements made with South Korea earlier this year.

The explosions were carried out simultaneously within a four-minute time frame after the North notified the South of the project, according to South Korea’s Defense Ministry.

North Korean soldiers have been destroying the brick structures over the past couple of weeks. Analysts said they most likely decided to demolish the guard posts all at once to meet the Nov. 30 deadline.

Most excellent - they have a timetable and they are following it. A bit more:

“We aim to verify the dismantlement, and ultimately withdraw all guard posts in both North and South Korean border military demarcation line,” Choi Hyun-soo, South Korea’s defense ministry spokesperson said during a briefing Tuesday.

The demolition of guard posts on both sides of the border at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is part of a series of moves that South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had agreed to completely ‘demilitarize’ the joint security area during the third inter-Korean summit in September.

Looks like Kim is wanting to join the rest of the world. He went to school in Switzerland and has traveled the world. He wants what is best for his people - a McDonalds :)

Interesting news - Mexico

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Looks like Mexico is stepping up to the plate - one paragraph from Reuters:

The Mexican government said it had retaken control of the border crossing after nearly 500 migrants tried to cross the U.S. border “in a violent manner,” and vowed to immediately deport Central Americans who attempt to enter the United States illegally.

Way to go, Mexico. Kudos to incoming President AMLO - due to begin his six year term in six days (December 1st, 2018).

About the border

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All the news footage of illegals climbing over the border fence - Fake News - from President Trump:

Jim Acosta smackdown

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Sarah Sanders is a national treasure - from Breitbart:

Sarah Sanders Outlines Conduct Rules for White House Reporters
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders outlined new rules for White House reporters, after restoring CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press pass on Monday.

“We have created these rules with a degree of regret,” Sanders said in a statement.

She lamented that Acosta’s behavior at the president’s most recent press conference and subsequent lawsuit required the White House to set standards for conduct in place.

“We would have greatly preferred to continue hosting White House press conferences in reliance on a set of understood professional norms, and we believe the overwhelming majority of journalists covering the White House share that preference,” she said. “But, given the position taken by CNN, we now feel obligated to replace previously shared practices with explicit rules.”

Sanders warned that if journalists continued to flout common decency at the White House, more rules would be created.

I love her smackdown - letting Acosta know that he spoilt it for everyone.

The rules in question:

(1) A journalist called upon to ask a question will ask a single question and then will yield the floor to other journalists;

(2) At the discretion of the President or other White House official taking questions, a follow-up question or questions may be permitted; and where a follow up has been allowed and asked, the questioner will then yield the floor;

(3) “Yielding the floor” includes, when applicable, physically surrendering the microphone to White House staff for use by the next questioner;

(4) Failure to abide by any of rules (1)-(3) may result in suspension or revocation of the journalist’s hard pass.

Seems perfectly reasonable to me and is what everyone (well, almost everyone) was doing all along.

About that blue wave

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A couple of stories - first from Zero Hedge:

Gillum's Dramatic Decision To Un-Concede Didn't Work Out As He Expected
Florida's Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum may regret his decision to un-concede to his GOP opponent Ron DeSantis, after the final tally netted Gillum just one additional vote

Last week Gillum took his previous concession to DeSantis off the table, announcing "I am replacing my words of concession in an unapologetic call that we count every vote," after DeSantis led by just .41% of the vote, or around 33,600 votes out of more than 8 million votes cast.

"The margin was 0.41 percent out of more than 8 million votes cast, outside the 0.25 percent threshold needed for a manual recount," reports the Sun-Sentinel. The former Tallahassee mayor stopped short of filing a lawsuit to try and force the recount to continue, however despite picking up just one vote - Gillum still hasn't conceded despite what appears to be an insurmountable lead by DeSantis.

And then from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Abrams ends run for governor against Kemp
Stacey Abrams halted her run for Georgia governor Friday, but the Democrat said she would not concede the contest to Republican Brian Kemp and planned to launch a voting rights group to file “major” litigation challenging election policies.

As state officials prepare to certify the vote, Abrams acknowledged the law “allows no further viable remedy” to extend her quest to be the nation’s first black female governor. But she laced her speech with biting criticism of Kemp, whom she accused of leveraging his role as the state’s top elections official to suppress voters.

“I will not concede,” she added, “because the erosion of our democracy is not right.”

And this (and Broward County) is just a fraction of the bullshit that they will try in 2020.

Again, the Democrats have nothing to run on so they are forced to cheat. We really need to deny them this. Positive Voter ID - you need to show positive photo ID when buying a beer or an airplane ticket, why should voting be any different.

From The United States, Department of Justice:

DOJ and DHS Issue New Asylum Rule
Applies President’s authority to suspend entry to asylum
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen today announced an Interim Final Rule declaring that those aliens who contravene a presidential suspension or limitation on entry into the United States through the southern border with Mexico issued under section 212(f) or 215(a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) will be rendered ineligible for asylum.

The Acting Attorney General and the Secretary issued the following joint statement:

“Consistent with our immigration laws, the President has the broad authority to suspend or restrict the entry of aliens into the United States if he determines it to be in the national interest to do so. Today's rule applies this important principle to aliens who violate such a suspension or restriction regarding the southern border imposed by the President by invoking an express authority provided by Congress to restrict eligibility for asylum. Our asylum system is overwhelmed with too many meritless asylum claims from aliens who place a tremendous burden on our resources, preventing us from being able to expeditiously grant asylum to those who truly deserve it. Today, we are using the authority granted to us by Congress to bar aliens who violate a Presidential suspension of entry or other restriction from asylum eligibility.”

Section 212(f) of the Immigration and INA states that “[w]henever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”

More at the site. The border is now closed regardless of what activists might say. This will be the foundation for getting them sent back.

Filling the Bret Kavanaugh vacancy

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When Justice Kavanaugh was sworn in as a member of the Supreme Court, his old job became available. Today, President Trump announced his selection - FOX News:

Trump announces 'regulatory czar' Neomi Rao as nominee to take Kavanaugh's seat on D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals
President Trump announced Tuesday he will nominate Neomi Rao, who has spearheaded his administration's effort to cut down and reform federal regulations as head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, to take the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals seat vacated by new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Trump, speaking at a White House event marking Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, indicated that a formal announcement is slated for Wednesday, but said that tipping his hand early "gives me a big story."

"We were going to announce that tomorrow and I said you know, here we are Neomi -- we're never gonna do better than this. I thought it was an appropriate place," Trump said, as attendees at the ceremony clapped and Rao smiled.

"I won't say today that I just nominated Neomi to be on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the seat of Justice Brett Kavanaugh," Trump continued. "She's going to be fantastic -- great person."

She will be perfect for the position. Strong conservative with a great track record.

Time to make some popcorn

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And sit back and enjoy the show - from President Trump:

Great news - Jeff Sessions is gone

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He was a decent lawyer but he had zero backbone and allowed Rod Rosenstein to roll over him with the whole phony Russian Collusion charge. Now President Trump has the chance to appoint someone who will work to defang the deep state.

Election results

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Law Professor Glen Reynolds says it best - from USA Today:

Election results 2018: Forget the blue wave and behold the purple puddle
Well, it wasn’t the huge Blue Wave we were promised, a change in Congress on a par with the Tea Party’s “shellacking” of President Barack Obama in 2010, or President Bill Clinton’s big midterm losses in 1994. It looks more like a Blue Slosh. Or maybe a Purple Puddle. The Democrats regained some ground, but it wasn’t the overwhelming repudiation of President Donald Trump and the Republicans they were hoping for.

As I write this, it looks as if Democrats will control the House of Representatives by a narrow margin, while the GOP keeps control of the Senate. What does that mean? Gridlock.

Is that good? It just might be.

The idea that gridlock is good is based on the notion that most of what Congress does is probably bad, and that when Congress can’t do much we’re better off. As Bill Kort wrote in 2017, “Gridlock is good because when Congress is tied up in knots they can’t do anything to hurt us. This idea has been verified by the market many times over the past 25 years.”

Gridlock in Congress can be a good thing
Kort notes that the economic boom of the 1990s took place after Clinton was forced to moderate his approach post-1994, and that times of government unity often lead to bad decisions. Under divided government, things have to appeal to both parties or they don’t pass. That will take a lot, given how divided the parties are.

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that "divided government is the perfect time to do big things." Pointing to Social Security reform in 1983, the 1986 Tax Reform Act, and the Clinton-era welfare reform program, McConnell said, “None of those things in my view would have occurred in unified government."

There are a lot of things that need to be done, ranging from infrastructure, to trade, to a health care fix that will get us past the Obamacare debacle. They won’t get addressed unless the two parties can come together. I think there’s room for them to work together — and former Democratic National Committee Chair Ed Rendell was saying the same thing on election night on Fox News. It’ll be interesting to see whether President Trump can bring some of his famed “Art of the Deal” skills into play.

More at the site. All the Democrats have to do is to stop being crazy. Is that too much to ask? 2020 should be very interesting.

Illegal aliens voting in Texas

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And they have a video - from Zero Hedge:

Non-Citizens Voting In Texas? "We Got Tons Of Them" Admits Polling Official On Undercover Veritas Video
A new video from James O'Keefe's Project Veritas shows a Texas poll worker admitting that "tons" of non-citizens have been voting.

The video features an undercover Veritas operative asking whether or not her non-citizen boyfriend can vote in Tuesday's midterm election.

One poll worker, Deborah Brooks-Wims tells the operative "If he has his ID that's all he needs. If he's registered."

"It doesn't matter that he's not a citizen?" asks the Veritas journalist. "No! No, if he's registered, he has a... honey, it might not be that he's registered. If he's giving you all this trouble it may not be that he's registered."

The journalist then says: "He's saying he saw some mess on the internet saying that it's not legal for him to vote since he's not a [unintelligible]," to which the poll worker responds "Don't pay attention to that. Bring him up here."

Another poll worker, Pam Nash, was told that the undercover journalist's boyfriend was "really nervous" and "out in the car" waiting to vote. Nash says "No, you tell him no, we got a lot of 'em," adding "Go get him, bring him in."

The video is pretty damning.

Fixing dinner - early results

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Still waaay to early to tell - a lot of polls are still open but the initial results are wonderful:


Fun Bugs Bunny mashup

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Hat tip Vanderleun - got to love the classics.

January 2019

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