Days of Change

Go Big or Go Bigger

January 30, 2017
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Meet the new Valerie Jarrett.

One of the people who jumped on the Trump Train early was Steve Bannon. Above almost everything else, Bannon saw that Trump was willing to go against something no other Republican would or could oppose: mass immigration. The big Republican donors like the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson are libertarian enough to believe in what we now call “comprehensive immigration reform.”

After just a week, President Trump signed an Executive Order which sought to close the revolving door for Americans who were recently granted immigration status but who traveled “home” and back. It also put in a 2-3 month delay on new Visas until a system was put in place to verify the identity of these immigrants.

You can question the legality or implementation of this EO, but if you’re the acting Attorney General, you’ll get fired for it. As the Republicans (and probably Bannon) learned from the government “shutdown,”either you give in or they do. Valerie Jarrett didn’t let Obama give in.

When Ronald Reagan allowed illegal immigrants to get green cards, it was part of an arrangement with Democrats in Congress to grant amnesty, then step up enforcement to reduce future illegal immigration. Enforcement is hard and Democrats weren’t interested, so they took the amnesty and ran.

Frankly, people didn’t care about illegal immigration. In 1992, Pat Buchanan ran on the Trump platform and lost the nomination to George H.W. Bush. Clinton beat Bush and brought us NAFTA. Creating jobs in Mexico reduced immigration for a while. Bush 43 was not opposed to immigration reform, but the Congress found that voters were.

Then there was 9/11.

When Obama came in, he felt it was his duty to coddle the entire Muslim world and deport Mexicans with jobs, but leave the ones on welfare here. Stories of “refugees” in Europe raping women and young girls while sometimes killing crowds with trucks made America appropriately concerned with America’s policy toward not caring who comes in the US or overstays.

More than anyone else in the White House, I’m sure that Bannon is expressing his grudge against Democrats and Republicans who aren’t pure enough to advise Trump. Immigration is a great issue to use. Even firing federal staff when not enough people have been hired yet is not seen as a bad move when they refuse immigration orders that most of America is happy to see. My concern is that the left has lower depths to go and I’m not sure if Bannon can fight it if he lets Trump piss off too many Republicans.

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The Two-Dollar Hooker

January 28, 2017
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There’s an old joke about a $2 hooker, that’s she’s not much to look at, but she gets the job done.

I didn’t like Trump because I thought he wasn’t very conservative (that’s still in flux, especially on taxes and protectionism) and that he would do poorly in a general election. Trump did do poorly, only getting 46% of voters to pick him. However, it was an ugly result that got the job done.

This post on Ace of Spades lays out the case for indifference and why someone can both not support Trump as a politician but still enjoy liberal defeats at his hands. The left used the Alinsky method of attacking conservatives for hypocrisy for so long that only a completely open hypocrite could win. You can find clips of Trump saying diametrically opposing remarks on virtually any issue. Trump’s answer is similar to Andrew Breitbart’s answer to may arguments: So?

Now that President Trump has had a week to write some executive orders, he’s doing things he promised to do, things that Republicans might not do on their own, and possibly things that will make him an ineffective president in the near future. Trump himself is indifferent to criticism, as long as he has already moved them to the “enemy” column. We’ll see what happens when the Executive Orders run out.


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In Ted Cruz News

January 25, 2017
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So, Politico ran a story about Senator Ted Cruz starting pick up basketball games with fellow Republicans as a way to mend fences after the 2016 campaign. Former Gawker tentacle Deadspin, a sports-related gossip site, sent out a tweet asking for pictures of Cruz playing basketball. One suspects they wanted to either 1) prove he can’t play or 2) find some way to make a picture embarrassing. Cruz himself responded by tweeting a pic of Grayson Allen, who is known on the Internets as a dead ringer for Cruz.

You can see in this post that Deadspin did not respond well, even if Cruz did.

One thing is clear. Even thought Donald Trump is being advised by a man who engineered Gawker’s destruction, those bitter liberals are just as angry at Ted Cruz because they were told he was the big evil before Trump was. While Trump has hit the ground running to some extent, I can’t say that the rise in the stock market isn’t the result of the end of Obama, rather than solely due to Trump. Any Republican would be as hated by the left and liked by people who don’t like Obama or Hillary Clinton.

Personally, I find Cruz’ Twitter game much more clever than Trump’s collection of misspellings and third-grade words like sad, losing, or “very unfair.”


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Pride Goeth Before a Fall

January 23, 2017
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So, the thin veneer of Obama’s bipartisanship was over in less than 100 days in 2009. In fact, it took less than 80 days to organize Tea Party rallies for tax day. Those rallies were mocked as nonsensical and pointless. For his part, Obama’s answer for most criticism was “I won.”The liberal media had already talked about Democrats as a permanent majority part after decimating the Republican Party in 2006 and 2008.

Does this seem familiar?

The conservative media, including Fox News, talk radio, blogs that suck up to Trump and the alternative news blogs that booster Trump, are as powerful as the mainstream media, even if they are not as ubiquitous. So, when Fox downplays the protests Saturday while CNN and MSNBC air them all day, this is not the media vs. Trump. It’s a bunch of channels that collectively have lower ratings than Fox News against the biggest name in cable news. Even so, MSNBC posted their highest ratings in years that day.

Trump world (the administration and his Internet Action Force) have been arguing about crowd estimates and alternative theories of viewership. This is a pretty obvious attempt to prove that the 46% of voters who actually picked Trump on a ballot represent a silent majority. The online Trump contingent has sought to downplay the effectiveness of the rallies and mock the people and their hats. I wonder if they would make fun of a pink tri-corner hat.

My wish is for a semi-permanent Republican majority based on free-market economics and traditional morality. Donald Trump can sign a thousand Executive Orders and the next Democrat can reverse them all. Trump is using the Alinsky playbook, but the liberals live it. They are already using the grass-roots model, funded by Soros and fueled by Trump’s outright lies about stupid things to marginalize him as president.

The only defense is to see that this is happening and Trump supporters are winning to much to see it.


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Mr. 3000

January 21, 2017
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This blog started the day after Election day 2008. The original target end date was in 1539 days when the “next” president was inaugurated. Instead, the Obama Era lasted 3,000 days from Election Night to Inauguration Day 2017.

The best president in the 20th Century was Probably Ronald Reagan (or maybe Calvin Coolidge). Trump has some similarities to Reagan. Both were discounted because of their place in popular culture and both felt government had a much more limited role. However, Reagan had a large amount of political experience, was a booster for the Republican Party and was cordial with his enemies.

The worst president of the 21st century has been Barack Obama. Trump shares some similarities with him. Both are cults of personality. They both have little in the way of political experience or governance. Both took joy in attacking their enemies and letting them know they won.

Obama’s lousy attitude created both a defiant Congress and a grass-roots movement to fight him. Even if George Soros creates an “astroturf” movement, it could have a real effect. 63 million people voted for Donald Trump. 74 million voted for someone else. Trump’s victory was a result of just the right vote distribution and opposition from other directions. Unlike Obama, who never had to work for anything, Trump will have to work his ass off to keep America great.


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Omens

January 20, 2017
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A couple of bad things happened to me and my family today. I hope it isn’t a sign of things to come.


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Escalation

January 18, 2017
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In the real world, a state that makes gun ownership legal and fairly easy has less gun crime than a state or city that restricts or bans guns. In liberal world, gun grabbing cities blame the states around them for letting guns in. Countries that ban guns entirely have less gun crime, but the crimes (and suicides) are committed with different weapons and can be more gory and violent.

States with open carry and allowances for guns in bars and even schools don’t see random shootings over petty disagreements. Even hotheads know that if other people around them have guns, firing one off in anger could lead to hot lead between their eyes. Mutually assured destruction is scary because it requires that most of the principles be sane, but it works pretty well.

There are two things about a Trump administration that worry me. One is that Trump and his supporters will continue to seek revenge on their enemies under the belief that they can’t retaliate. The other is that Trump and his supporters will continue to seek revenge on their detractors who are conservatives, Republicans, potential allies or all of the above.

The Trump jobs program currently consists of offering tax breaks to businesses that create US jobs and threatening companies that move jobs. Once in power, Trump will have to deliver on promises or threats and the GOP is already unwilling to impose tariffs. Trump can take his case directly to the people, but only 46% of the ones who voted picked him. If three Republican senators out of the half dozen who have axes to grind decide to take Trump on, the Donald may actually learn the art of the deal.

Then there’s his biggest enemy, the press. The media generally tried to get Hillary Clinton elected. If Russian hacking of e-mail and distribution of fake news did anything, it was to level the playing field. However, Trump won’t have Hillary Clinton to kick around anymore. She isn’t the alternative is Trump screws up. The people who picked Trump because they hated him less that Hillary could sour quickly if he doesn’t deliver on whatever they perceive to be his mandate. Even if the media is “against” Donald Trump, the people who are unwaveringly pro-Trump make up less than 40% of the population.

The potential with a combative Trump administration is a preference cascade. Trump attempts to change the law, the media point out problems, and House and Senate members start to fear voter backlash generated by the media instead of by Trump. Anti-Trump Republicans didn’t do that bad in 2016. If Trump can’t rule them by fear, he may not have a whole lot else. Then the media reports his failures and unwillingness to compromise and suddenly Trump is reduced to a meat puppet controlled by the GOP until the next presidential election. Or the Democrats take the Senate in 2018.

The good news for me is that the Democrats can’t do any damage. I’m just wondering if the Republicans can get anything done.


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Dude, Just Stop

January 15, 2017
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This probably won’t  be the last time Republicans will feel this way during a Trump presidency.

 


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Fair Game

January 13, 2017
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How could the media fight Donald Trump?

Become more conservative.

The first time I described Donald Trump on a blog, I used the term “dirtbag” in connection with a new NBC show called The Apprentice back in 2005. The first time I commented on Trump as a candidate, I referred to him as “glib.” I was a Scott Walker fan at the time. Walker was interesting in that he wasn’t a gifted orator, whatever the hell that really means, but was an effective administrator. Unfortunately, glib gets people the job of president in the modern era.

My problem with Trump is that he took shallow, meaningless statements to a level where they don’t even make sense, then attacked people based on how effective their burn was on him, rather than how effective his rebuke would be politically. He almost perfectly embodies the prototype of the strongman, a leader who rules by abuse and fear.

I’ve been watching Leah Remini’s series about Scientology and the tactics they use. I’ve been reading about this strange and cruel organization for decades. One strategy going back to L. Ron Hubbard’s leadership is “fair game.” This is where people who are publicly critical of Scientology are subject to the most extreme harassment and gaslighting because they became fair game. They range from lawfare to actually having people befriend the target and then report back to Scientology.

Most of the Alt-Right can be distilled down to people who want to take the fight to liberals. Most of the time, this means calling them out. The problem is that media saturation is not an effective strategy to win hearts and minds. It only serves to make people combative all the time. I tend to prefer living well as the best revenge, or at least proving your policies right to be the best revenge.

Donald Trump has made a life out of living well and making sure everyone know how well he lives. He also makes sure anyone who doesn’t like what he does gets an earful of why they suck and he’s better than they are. He’s like every other egomaniac. He seems to be a man of the people because he likes worship. He’s Barack Obama with a different career path.

Either Trump will engage in a weird form of populism that will hurt the free market, or he will fail to deliver on the protectionist strategies that his supporters swear will happen. His opponents are the entire left and libertarian-leaning conservatives. If the left continues to use Trump to vilify conservatives, Trump can maintain his support for the next 4 years. However, if the liberal media finds ways to attack the Trump agenda on conservative grounds, it would form an anti-Trump coalition that is already 54% of the voting population.

Plus, the media will be better for the additional intellectual diversity.


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These Are the Good Days

January 8, 2017
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This week has been especially entertaining for the Trump skeptic. Some of us didn’t warm to the argument that we should vote for Trump because Hillary Clinton is worse because the argument was made by people who would watch Trump strangle a puppy and be certain the puppy had done some evil stuff to deserve that. There are problems with Trump, regardless of how not Hillary he is, and he’s not going to change unless people stop liking him when he does bad things.

In the waning days of the Obama regime, the intelligence community is full-on leaking details of a Russian plot to gaslight Clinton with embarrassing campaign e-mails and widely distributed stories about her having any number of debilitating ailments and murder victims. The two-pronged Trump attack has been that the Russians 1)didn’t change any ballots and 2)didn’t hack any e-mails.

On the e-mail front, the Trump media is relying on Julian Assange of Wikileaks, who was pretty unpopular with most conservatives a few years ago. Sean Hannity not only changed his mind, but flew to the embassy where Assange has been holed up for years and apologized for ever doubting him. Sarah Palin even apologized and Wikileaks published her hacked e-mails.

back when Putin was making Obama look useless, it was funny to comment about how strong and powerful Putin was. However, Putin is a monster. Recently, an investigation showed that FSB whistle blower Alexander Litvinenko was not killed in a singularly horrible fashion for revealing political secrets about Putin, but for bringing up Putin’s sexual interest in young boys.

Like Putin, Donald Trump is at his most reactive when personal invective are used, much like the way I described Putin and other dictators 6 years ago. Also, like 6 years ago, I can still write the same things about Julian Assange and his Polanski-esque escape. It is fully possible that the Russians told lies and distributed truth about the Clinton campaign to help Donald Trump. It’s basically what the Right has been accusing George Soros of for years. Does that reality hurt Donald Trump? t might, but he’s till president and he would have to earn America’s respect either way.

Right now, we’re running out of principled people to hold him accountable.


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