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If I got paid $10 for each article I’ve read, pundit I’ve heard and montage I’ve watched that’s predicted Mueller was on the verge of slamming the jail cell on President Trump, I’d be rich. This article is just the most recent I’ve seen.

Jill Abramson’s article starts by saying “The rogues’ gallery exposed in Robert Mueller’s court filings last week make the Watergate burglars look positively classy. Even veteran lawyers who were involved in the investigations of Richard Nixon say they’ve never seen this level of chicanery. Most importantly, last week’s events showed that Special Counsel Mueller is getting closer to exposing the scope and depth of it all. His most recent filings make clear that considerable evidence touches the president himself.”

There’s no doubt that some of the people who’ve been investigated (I’m thinking Manafort and Stone mostly) are worthy of society’s disdain. To be blunt, they’re skunks. If both rot in jail the next 50 years, I won’t lose a split-second of sleep over it.

That being said, that being said, neither lead to the promised land. Neither connect President Trump to anything corrupt or criminal. Without proof that President Trump engaged in criminal activity, Mueller’s glass isn’t half-empty or half-full. It’s just empty. As he frequently does, Newt Gingrich nails it with his analysis:

There’s no doubt that Ms. Abramson wishes for Mueller to nail President Trump. Notice how she slithers her opinions into the article as verified fact:

As a candidate, Trump repeatedly reassured voters that he had no business dealings in Russia. But as he uttered those lies, he knew Cohen was planning to sell Russian kleptocrats $250m units in a future Trump Tower Moscow by luring Putin into the project with a free $50m spread. This was all unfolding as emails from Democratic officials, hacked by the Russians, disrupted the Democratic convention and the Republican party was making its party platform much kinder to Russia.

I’d love seeing the documentation or text messages that shows Trump knew what Cohen was doing. Until they have that, they’ve got nothing. Period. Hatred of a person isn’t proof of a crime getting committed.

At some point, the Mueller ‘investigation’ will end. At that time, those of us who appreciate integrity will start telling historians who will listen that Mr. Mueller is a skunk who doesn’t have an ounce of integrity. He’s just a malicious man who’s upset that he wasn’t hired when Jim Comey got fired.

If you didn’t see Outnumbered this morning, you missed Marie Harf throwing one Democrat under the bus after another. During Harf’s attempt to minimize Ocasio-Cortez’s frequent mistakes, she threw Rep.-Elect Cortez, DNC Chair Cortez and the media wing of the Democratic Party under the bus in a 4-minute video.

That being said, Kennedy’s statements stole the show for that segment. She started by saying that “It’s the downfall of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, because it’s built on a foundation of yogurt. It’s incredibly problematic because she doesn’t have a working knowledge of basic economics. Socialism is an economic system. You have to have an economic argument in order to a) sell it and b) make it work. She can’t do either because she doesn’t understand how the world works, how people make money, how money is created and the creation of money is actually a positive sum effort when more people thrive when more people make money.”

Republicans should understand that just highlighting the fact that Democrats are becoming more socialist by the month won’t help them win back suburban voters. They need to highlight how socialist policies have failed in the past, then highlight how true capitalism, not crony capitalism, has succeeded. Highlight the fact that legitimate capitalism incentivizes everyone to make profits while crony capitalism picks winners and losers based on connections, not innovation and the ability to recognize markets.

Here’s the video of the segment:

Make sure to watch the entire thing. It’s priceless, especially Ari Fleischer’s comments at the end on why Ocasio-Cortez is getting so much coverage.

In his USA Today op-ed, Adam Schiff proves that a little paranoia goes a long ways. His op-ed is a litany of conjectures that can’t be verified.

For instance, he wrote “A national security adviser who could be subject to blackmail by Russia is nearly a worst case counterintelligence scenario. But this week, we learned that the potential for compromise was even more significant than we thought. Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to lying to the Intelligence Committee about his efforts on behalf of the Trump Organization to reach a deal and secure financing from a Russian bank under U.S. sanctions to build a Trump Tower Moscow.”

Is it Mr. Schiff’s contention that President Trump’s cancellation of his meeting with President Putin was just pageantry? Thus far, President Trump hasn’t shown any signs of being compromised. In fact, he’s shown the opposite. Later, Schiff wrote this:

Cohen stated in court that he made those false statements to be consistent with the president’s “political messaging,” namely Trump’s vociferous public denials of any business dealings with Russia. And in a recent sentencing memorandum, Cohen’s attorneys concede that he remained “in close and regular contact with the White House-based staff and legal counsel” to Trump in the weeks during which his false testimony to Congress was being prepared.

Cohen is a proven liar. There isn’t a reason why anyone should trust anything he says unless there’s corroboration. After 2 years of investigating, that verification hasn’t been found. While it’s possible that there’s something there, the odds of finding that something seem rather slim.

It’s fair, though, to say that Mr. Schiff loves the sound of his voice:

Now that’s an ego as big as the Grand Canyon. The only thing bigger than Mr. Schiff’s ego is his paranoia.

You’d never know it by the MSM’s coverage but President Trump had a pretty successful G20 summit. Liz Peek’s article highlights those victories. Ms. Peek wrote that “President Trump scored major successes at the G-20 summit that concluded over the weekend in Argentina. Specifically, the community of nations agreed in their official communique to ‘necessary reform’ of the World Trade Organization, a top White House priority, and recognized the decision of the U.S. to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, and to still utilize ‘all energy sources and technologies, while protecting the environment.’ In addition, the Chinese promised to up their purchases of U.S.- made goods and to discuss other demands in exchange for postponing an expected hike in tariffs; President Xi also committed to designating the deadly drug Fentanyl as a controlled substance in China, and vowed to help with de-nuclearizing North Korea.”

That’s just the start. President Trump signed the new and improved trade deal between the US, Mexico and Canada. Later that morning, he met with Japanese Prime Minister Abe and Indian Prime Minister Modi. That sent a strong signal to China that South Korea, Japan and India have sided with the US, not with China. In terms of strategic importance, this development can’t be emphasized enough. China is already buckling during these tariff fights.

Thanks to Trump’s strategic pressure, China has started giving in to President Trump’s trade demands. That’s led to a major increase today for trade-sensitive stocks.”

BTW, the Dow finished up almost 288 points today. They certainly liked what they heard from the G20.

To be sure, there’s some noise coming from the Mueller witch hunt but that’s just noise. It isn’t anything that the American people take seriously. That being said, I don’t doubt that Mueller will weave together a document that Democrats will pounce on. They don’t have a choice on that. That being said, it’s difficult taking him seriously.

Finally, this is good news if it happens:

Trade negotiations between the U.S. and China will yield immediate results that will come even during the 90-day negotiation period ahead, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said Monday.

Tariffs on agriculture and energy products will be lowered while nontariff barriers on American ownership of companies in China also will come down, Kudlow told the Fox Business Network. In addition, Kudlow expects progress on technology transfers and intellectual property.

“Those things should kick in soon. We should see palpable change on the Chinese side immediately,” he said. “I don’t want to be too specific, but I think the generic answer is we will see changes very quickly.”

After reading Councilman-elect Paul Brandmire’s editorial, it’s clear that a significant portion of our community isn’t interested in listening. It’s apparent, too, that another significant portion of our community doesn’t understand the US Constitution.

In his LTE, Councilman-elect Brandmire wrote “when thousands of people from a very different background are transplanted into the middle of that region in a very short period of time without the population having any say in that decision, it’s going to cause friction and take some time to adjust.”

Later, Brandmire said this:

That is why I support the idea of closing the seemingly wide-open spigot of refugees coming here until we can assimilate those who are already here.

One of the commenters replied “Brandmire’s side has been listened to, extensively, but as Don points out above, that side has pushed for an unworkable and un-Constitutional solution.” Actually, “Brandmire’s side” wasn’t tolerated. They were ambushed. They were called haters and Islamophobes. They were treated like they weren’t welcome in their own city:

There’s nothing unconstitutional about letting the federal government know we can’t absorb all of the refugees they’d been sending us. There’s nothing improper about telling the federal government that there’s a limit to how many refugees St. Cloud can support. Finally, there’s nothing unconstitutional to passing a resolution stating these things.

FYI- Monday night, I’ll be addressing the St. Cloud City Council. I hope to highlight the fact that several of the councilmembers haven’t listened to the people worth a damn. My councilmember, Steve Laraway, thinks that St. Cloud is a great place to live even though one-fourth St. Cloud’s population lives below the poverty level. Dave Masters, who represents St. Cloud’s First Ward, was offended by hats that said “Make St. Cloud Great Again” because, according to him, St. Cloud already is great. Masters thinks that despite the fact that St. Cloud’s violent crime was almost double the rate of Minnesota’s rate per 100,000 people.

Gonzaga University’s ‘leadership’ rejected that school’s College Republicans’ chapter to invite Ben Shapiro to campus. According to Gonzaga University’s vice president of student development, Judi Biggs Garbuio, “Mr. Shapiro’s appearances routinely draw protests that include extremely divisive and hateful speech and behavior, which is offensive to many people, regardless of their age, politics or beliefs.”

Garbuio added that “Gonzaga University is committed to the human dignity of every individual. This is the core of our mission based on the teachings of Christ Jesus, and the foundations of the Society of Jesus. We stand in solidarity with vulnerable members of our community who may be targeted for discrimination, ridicule, or harassment by others.”

This is an old topic. This isn’t the first time so-called intellectuals have cited a ‘hecklers veto’ in preventing Shapiro or other conservatives from appearing on campus. These intellectuals are lightweights who are frightened by the thought of defending their ideas on a substantive basis. Put in more blunt terms, these intellectuals are a bunch of sissies.

What’s funniest to me is that the liberals who started the free speech movement at Berkeley would laugh at them for rejecting the opportunity to debate. Today’s progressives aren’t like yesteryear’s liberals. Can you picture Alan Dershowitz or Christopher Hitchens turning down the opportunity to debate? I can’t.

“Gonzaga’s events policy requires us consider whether an event would pose substantial risk to the safety occurred to any member of our campus community,” Biggs Garbuio said. “In light of what has occurred on other campuses, our security team has raised questions about whether we can adequately secure a campus venue.”

TRANSLATION: We’re too stupid to figure out how to have a clash of ideas while protecting our students. That’s too complex for us.

She isn’t even the Speaker again but Nancy Pelosi is declaring war against President Trump. Rather than attempting to sound a bipartisan tone, “House Democrats’ first order of business in the new Congress will be targeting President Trump’s tax returns, setting the confrontational tone of the lower chamber.”

Democrats want “to get access to Trump’s tax records, with Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, saying the request will be made as soon as Democrats officially take control of the House in January. ‘We need to give every major provision of this new tax law scrutiny that Republicans refused to provide last year,” he said. ‘I think it’s important for our oversight to get those tax returns.'”

Talk about wasting time. Democrats aren’t even trying to dress this up as policy-driven. Expect Democrats to howl that President Trump is hiding something when this bill dies in the Senate. The next step is to declare a need for yet another pointless, counterproductive investigation. If/when that investigation is initiated, expect Ancient Elijah Cummings to lead that witch hunt.

Republicans would be wise to highlight vulnerable Democrats’ participation in these investigations. The ads virtually write themselves. Imagine, too, if those Democrats vote for Ms. Pelosi for Speaker after promising not to vote for her.

The phrase being peddled by Democrats is that they “can walk and chew gum at the same time”, meaning that they can investigate President Trump and still pass (supposedly) popular legislation, too. I’m betting otherwise. I’m betting that they’ll spend tons of time investigating trivial things like President Trump’s tax returns while compromising little and notching little in the way of legislative accomplishments.

Frankly, I can’t picture Elijah Cummings, Jerry Nadler, Adam Schiff or Maxine Waters exercising much investigative restraint.

John Kass’s column highlights the Democrats’ empty immigration plan. Kass’s column opens by saying “if there is one thing worse than that photograph of a little Honduran boy breathing through an oxygen mask after being hit with tear gas on our Southern border, it’s this: Using that image as a sentimental weapon to fend off or obliterate clearheaded immigration policy. But that’s where we are now, aren’t we? The caravan of thousands of Central American migrants is finally at the border.”

President Obama mocked Republicans, hinting that we were paranoid for thinking that impoverished people in a caravan 1,000 miles from our border posed an existential threat. Now that the election is behind us, President Obama has taken his trash-talking off the stage and gone into hiding.

That isn’t surprising. He never won a fight based on persuasion. The few fights he won were won by trash-talking and with his infamous pen and phone. Here’s President Obama with his trash-talking:

If the media ever forced Democrats to debate immigration substantively, the fight wouldn’t last long. Thankfully for Democrats, there’s no chance that the MSM will force them into that fight. Unfortunately for Democrats, I’ll do my best to pick that fight.

If Democrats were ever forced into admitting that the border wall was as much about stopping fentanyl as it is about stopping illegal aliens entering the country, they’d look like idiots. If Democrats were forced into admitting that the people putting these caravans together also traffic in sex slaves and have caused most of the opioid epidemic, they’d instantly lose the fight over border wall funding.

Frankly, that’s why I hope there is a government shutdown on Pelosi’s watch. I want this attention focused on Democrats’ unwillingness to stop the opioid crisis before it starts. I want this attention focused on all of the components of illegal immigration. Finally, I want Republicans highlighting the difference between illegal immigration and legal, by-the-books immigration.

It’s time to have an adult conversation about immigration. Democrats won’t do that unless they’re forced into it.

Mary Franson proposed a bill in the last session that would’ve punished parents who subjected their daughters to female genital mutilation. Since it didn’t pass last year, she’s proposing it again this year. As this editorial powerfully states, “Franson deserves 100 percent support from her fellow House members as well as lawmakers in the Senate.”

I’ll just add that this legislation deserves the governor’s signature, too. Additionally, anyone that doesn’t support this legislation should be immediately thrown out of the legislature. I can’t state this opinion emphatically enough.

According to the editorial, it “is currently a felony in Minnesota to perform a mutilation, but the actions of the parents are not properly addressed. Under Franson’s bill, parents could be more severely punished, and have their children taken away.”

Anyone that subjects their daughter to this horrific treatment is a beast who needs to be locked up immediately and for a long time. Why people haven’t supported Rep. Franson’s legislation enthusiastically is beyond explanation. This isn’t a partisan issue. It’s the right thing to do.

It’s rather disheartening to see the senior leadership of Minnesota State, formerly known as MnSCU and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, wasting time on this initiative. To be fair, though, they admitted one thing that’s been obvious for years. They asked the question “How does the Minnesota State Board of Trustees enable a large, complex, risk-and change-averse organization to transition itself into a more nimble, responsive, and dynamic enterprise centered on enhancing student success”?

Admitting that a large government entity is “risk- and change-averse” is a nice first step. That being said, it’s just a first step. This bunch still isn’t capable of transferring credits from one MnSCU campus to another MnSCU campus. Why would I suddenly think that they’ll go from failing at such a basic function to being proficient at complex functions in times that Amazon would be proud of?

The reality is that government doesn’t have the incentives, aka profits, to be proficient. If Minnesota State is terrible at something, how does that senior management get punished for making a terrible decision? A: They don’t! As long as the business model doesn’t change, the incentive won’t change, either.

On Pg. 4, they ask “Why Reimagine Minnesota State?” The reply is “Our current approaches have had little impact on key outcomes of student success.” On Pg. 6 of the report, they write “Create the structures, policies, procedures, and funding models that will recognize and accelerate the innovative approaches already occurring on our campuses.”

The ‘business model’ used by private companies is entirely different than that of public institutions. Private companies rely on a profit incentive to drive efficiency. That incentive doesn’t exist in the public sector. They know that if they get things wrong, they just grab more money from taxpayers, then dress it up as their newest innovation.

In the end, this is just another waste of money that won’t accomplish what they want it to accomplish. When you put philosophers in charge, mediocrity soon follows.