The Left's plans for America
There’s one refreshing aspect to the Democrats’ recent public embrace of “Democratic” socialism, open borders, government health care and all the other formerly third-rail items on the far-left wish list: at long last, they can no longer be accused of running as moderates, then governing as liberals. Some of their most prominent candidates this year are running so far to the left, if they were football players, they’d be up in the bleachers by now.
You have to hand it to them: their policies might be insane and ruinous, but at least they’re finally being honest about what they believe in. And once they started openly proclaiming long-suppressed feelings, like that capitalism and law enforcement are icky and socialism and open borders are cool, it seemed to be a “Free at last!” moment that’s inspired them to go around proudly proclaiming how they think America has never been very great anyway but it could finally be worthwhile if we turned it into Venezuela. Considering polls show that most Americans are turned off by this radical turn (a new AP poll finds that only 24% of even Democratic voters favor abolishing ICE), it’s almost admirable of these candidates to be that honest about their “pedal-to-the-metal, drive America over a cliff” beliefs instead of trying to cover them up to get elected.
I don’t even need to cite Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez anymore, because now we have two major Democratic gubernatorial nominees who are very clear about pursuing policies that would do for their states what Dr. Jack Kevorkian did for longevity. Gavin Newsom in California and Andrew Gillum in Florida are proudly espousing policies that have proven disastrous everywhere they’ve been tried, from a $15-an-hour minimum wage to single-payer “Medicare For All.”
Gillum has been admirably frank about his plans to raise the corporate tax rate on Florida businesses by 40.1%, giving Florida the highest business tax rate in the Southeast (it would be over three times the 2019 tax rate for North Carolina) and sucking over a billion dollars out of the state’s private sector economy. The only way I could see that being popular with any Floridians who want to keep their jobs would be if he called it the “Encourage New Yorkers to Move Somewhere Else” bill.
Meanwhile, in California, inexplicable frontrunner for Governor, Gavin Newsom, doubled down on the crazy, declaring on a far-left podcast that he would not only create “Medicare For All,” he would extend free health care at taxpayer expense to the state’s estimated 3 million illegal immigrants (of course, if he combines open borders, sanctuary state status and free health care for everyone, the population of illegal immigrants isn’t likely to stay at a paltry 3 million for long.)
He insists such progressive pie-in-the-sky is doable and affordable because look how great it works in San Francisco, where he was mayor. You remember San Francisco, that beautiful city now cursed with some of the highest income inequality in the nation, where industries are canceling their conventions, homelessness is rampant, criminal illegal alien/multiple deportees are freed to prey on innocent Americans, and a walk in the wrong areas forces you to choose with each step whether your foot will land on discarded drug needles or human feces?
Even without including illegal immigrants, a previous single-payer health care bill proved so expensive (over twice the entire state budget) that not even California’s loony left legislature would touch it with a 10-foot surfboard. But proponents of these schemes always insist they’ll save money in the long run, with the same sincerity as a car salesman assuring you, “This Tesla will pay for itself!”
One of the more popular and ridiculous claims being made these days by the “Democratic” Socialists is that government health care must be really terrific because no place that’s instituted it has ever done away with it. Two responses to that:
First, it’s nearly impossible to do away with it, no matter how bad the provider shortages, budget shortfalls, care rationing, waiting lists or death panels. It tends to take over and destroy any alternatives that might replace it. Plus, it literally gives the government power over your life or death. What disgruntled citizen would dare stand up against a government with that kind of power, and what government would ever willingly give up that kind of leverage over its citizens?
Second, it has been done away with, except it was in American states where people had the power to fight it, reverse it or vote with their feet to escape it. Vermont tried it and quickly back-tracked when the cost ballooned beyond predictions. Tennessee flirted with some elements of it in a program called TennCare that had to be repeatedly altered and scaled back, then was declared financially unviable after the cost more than tripled over 10 years for basically the same number of enrollees. I’m also not counting socialist countries where the money ran out, but the government health care program stubbornly remained. Well, the health care didn’t remain, but government programs, unlike the people subject to them, never die.
And while the Bernie Sanders brigades are assuring us that “Medicare For All” would save money in the long run, they seldom mention how far off were the cost estimates of just providing Medicare for some. In 1967, it was projected that Medicare would cost about $12 billion by 1990. In reality, it cost over $98 billion. The current CBO estimate is that ten years from now, Medicare will cost $1.2 trillion a year. What it will actually cost is anybody’s guess, but if you’re betting on the under-or-over, I’d go with “over.”
The moral of all this: Remember whenever you’re tempted to vote for politicians promising lots of free stuff that nothing comes with a bigger price tag than a “free gift” from the government.
The "racism" in politics
I doubt you’ll be surprised to hear that Omarosa Manigault Newman’s claim that the problems she had in her White House job were due to the people who worked with her being racists is disputed by pretty much all the people who worked with her, including African-American Republican leaders, Congressional aides, White House staffers and black college officials, who say the problem was her “my way or the highway” attitude, her aggressive guarding of her turf, her maneuvering to advance herself and her hostility to black Republicans in general (she was reportedly a self-described Democrat and an early Hillary supporter.)
This might explain, even more than her book’s easily debunked factual errors, why the attempts to use her to bring down President Trump quickly fizzled. Anyone who watched “The Apprentice” might have predicted that working under Omarosa would be more like another reality show titled, “Bosses From Hell.”
Omarosa’s accusations of racism against people who claim she was biased against black Republicans lead us back to the racism charges against Florida GOP gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis for warning voters not to “monkey up” the state’s booming economy by voting for the socialist policies of his Democratic opponent. who is black.
DeSantis claims there was no racist intent in the phrase; it’s just a variation on "monkey around" or “throwing a monkey wrench into the works.” That didn’t stop his opponents from launching a full-on racism press, but that may be backfiring, thanks to that giant “permanent record” known as the Internet. Conservatives quickly began digging up and distributing clips of prominent Democrats using variations on the same “monkey around” phrase, including notorious white supremacists Chuck Schumer, John Kerry and Bernie Sanders.
This trend I wrote about yesterday of trying to harm your political opponents by ascribing the worst possible motives to whatever they say or do has become epidemic. When someone talks positively about socialism, I assume they’re poorly informed, not evil or clinically insane – at least, until they prove otherwise.
Kevin D. Williamson’s entertaining new piece for National Review, “The Exquisite Sensibilities of the Outrage Industry,” explores some similar ideas about people who are constantly digging for things to express offense about, sparked by complaints about a character in the hit movie, “Crazy Rich Asians.” He has a great quote, from the Elmore Leonard character, US Marshal Raylan Givens from “Justified” (I’m substituting the word “jerk” for the saltier term in the original, but the meaning is the same):
“If you get up in the morning and you meet (a jerk), you met (a jerk). If you meet nothing but (jerks) all day, you’re the (jerk.)”
It seems to me this principle also works with “racist,” “sexist,” “fascist” and all the terms from the panoply of popular PC pejoratives. For instance, if you think you’re fighting “fascists,” but you go around punching little old ladies and terrified teenagers in the face because everyone to the right of you is a “fascist,” then you’re the fascist.
Did Trump get Mexico to pay for the wall?!?
Prepare for a lot of Trump haters’ heads to explode when they hear this argument from talk show host Wayne Allyn Root:
1. President Trump just forced Mexico to agree to renegotiate NAFTA.
2. The new trade agreement will potentially save America hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade.
3. Trump’s border wall is estimated to cost just $25 billion.
Conclusion: Trump just got Mexico to pay for the border wall.
"What would Jesus Do?"
Granted, I’m not a “social ethics professor of religious studies.” But I did get a degree in religioun from Ouachita Baptist University, spent a year at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and served for 12 years as a church pastor. And during all that time, I never once heard that the answer to the question, “What would Jesus do?” is that He would counsel women to get abortions because “limiting our cultural approval of women’s reproductive decisions about the size, shape, and timing of their families… flies in the face of Jesus’ teaching that He came to bring abundant life.”
Got that? Jesus would advise women to kill their babies in the womb to fulfill His promise that He came to bring abundant life. I think we’ve definitely found another example of what George Orwell called “ideas so absurd, only intellectuals could believe them.”
According to separate exposes in the New York Times and the Daily Beast, NBC didn’t merely decline to air Ronan Farrow’s explosive expose of Hollywood mogul/Democratic fundraising kingpin Harvey Weinstein. The network allegedly engaged in “a massive breach of journalistic integrity” by ordering Farrow and former NBC producer Rich McHugh not to interview a woman who claimed Weinstein sexually abused her, ordering them to stand down on the story altogether, and having the network’s legal counsel threaten to smear Farrow if he continued to report on Weinstein.
NBC denies the claims, but they’ve sparked speculation that the network suits may have tried to kill the Weinstein story because they knew they’d been protecting Matt Lauer from similar charges.
Or maybe they just protect powerful Democrats from force of habit, since Juanita Broaddrick is still waiting for a believable explanation for why NBC taped an interview with her about her rape accusation against Bill Clinton back in the '90s, then held it until after his impeachment hearing was over. If the Weinstein exposes are accurate, it's hardly the first time for NBC.
If we’re going to remain in the UN, then President Trump has definitely found the perfect US Ambassador to that dubious organization in Nikki Haley. She’s shut off the flow of our tax money to countries that chant “Death to America.” And if you’ve noticed less Israel bashing from the UN lately, it’s reportedly because all the UN diplomats (i.e., traffic scofflaws with diplomatic immunity) are too afraid of her to open their big, dumb, anti-Semitic yaps and express it.
Now, that’s how to do UN diplomacy, American-style! Let’s hope the representatives of some nations that don’t protect the rights of women take some of that fear and respect for Ambassador Haley back home and apply it to their own female populations.
Debating New York style
I know most people don’t care about a debate between the leftwing Governor of New York and the even further leftwing star of “Sex and the City” who’s challenging him. But this is worth clicking on just to see possibly the worst snappy comeback line in history.
UPDATE, PART II: Guess who Bruce Ohr was working with? It's bad.
When I said the information on Bruce Ohr’s testimony was coming out in dribs and drabs, I was not kidding. I had no sooner finished writing one update when we got another drib. A very major drib.
Recall that Ohr testified that there were people at the FBI who knew about his wife’s work for Glenn Simpson at opposition research company Fusion GPS, which was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, and his back channel communication with British ex-spy, imaginative “dossier” writer and would-be Trump nemesis Christopher Steele –- both before and after Steele was officially considered an acceptable source –- and that behind closed doors he “named names.” Now we’re learning the names.
Yes, these are mostly FBI names, but it should surprise no one that Robert Mueller’s pit bull and lead attorney in the effort to “get Trump,” the notorious Andrew Weissmann, known for withholding exculpatory evidence in other cases, is also on that list. In other words, when Steele and Ohr were making notes about “S.C.,” they WERE referring to “special counsel” (not, as I had joked, “shifty Congressman” Adam Schiff, although I wouldn’t be surprised if he were in the loop as well). Thanks to Ohr, Weissmann knew that Steele’s flights of fantasy were being used to justify the investigation into Trump, and apparently that was just fine with him. In other words, the lead investigator on Mueller’s legal team is complicit in a fraud. Weissmann knew what was going on with Steele even before joining the special counsel team; ironically, when he was first put in the loop, he was chief of the DOJ’s criminal fraud division.
So, let’s see what was going on at the FBI. We’ve learned that then-deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe was being briefed by Ohr about what was going on with Steele’s dirt-digging. Another name: Lisa Page, McCabe’s legal assistant at the time, who had referred to “Andy’s office” in her text about the “insurance policy.” She was also office girlfriend to FBI head of counterintelligence Peter Strzok, who was conveniently in charge of both the Hillary “investigation” and the Trump/Russia probe. See how incestuous this all is? By the time you read this, President Trump will have no doubt indulged himself by raging in a well-justified tweetstorm.
Ohr had failed to disclose to the Justice Department the money his wife Nellie was making from her work at Fusion GPS, and he can be prosecuted for not filling out those official forms correctly. (Catherine Herridge does report that someone at the DOJ was aware but does not provide the identify.) According to FOX News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett –- who is surely already writing a blockbuster sequel to his new bestselling book THE RUSSIA HOAX –- Ohr could be charged with several crimes: honest services fraud, federal gratuity, federal bribery and making a false statement. The Justice Department was not informed of his wife’s work, according to Ohr’s testimony, but numerous people at the FBI knew all about it. Nellie Ohr had been hired specifically to work on the anti-Trump material.
Now we understand why the FBI has been refusing to turn over documents to congressional investigators for soooooooooo long. This is damning.
According to Herridge, the committees are still trying to nail down Ohr’s activities in spreading the dossier, which was really just a piece of slanderous, unverified “oppo research,” certainly not anything that would ever stand up court (and the FBI knew it ), but that was used to dupe a court into granting a warrant to spy on Carter Page, a Trump campaign associate. To get the warrant, they actually accused him of being a Russian agent. No charges have since been filed against Carter Page.
Remember the memo released by Devin Nunes earlier this year? Nunes was savaged for many of the details included in that memo, including the part about the FBI interviewing Ohr and determining that Steele and Ohr had been maintaining contact, and that Steele was determined to keep Trump out of the White House. This new testimony is a vindication.
According to Herridge, there are handwritten notes by Ohr from two weeks after the election that list Strzok, Page and another FBI agent –- perhaps the attendees of a meeting –- and say, “No prosecution yet. Push case ahead on M. May go back to Chris.” “M” appears to be a reference to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, while “Chris” is likely Christopher Steele, whose services were terminated (at least officially) by the FBI that same month for lying and leaking to the media.
Herridge also mentions that Weissman met as early as April of 2017 with reporters to talk about Manafort. A lot was brewing around that time; in May, the President fired FBI Director James Comey, Comey deliberately relayed to the media his personal notes offering “impressions” of conversations he’d had with the President (this was actually a leak of FBI material), and his friend Mueller was appointed to head the special counsel to investigate Trump.
House Democrats don’t care about any of this, and after Ohr’s testimony on Tuesday they supplied reporters with a “fact check” defending him as a career civil servant, conveniently glossing over the stunning details. They maintain that his outreach to Steele was not prohibited or unlawful. Read this, and you’ll know just what is going to happen to this investigation if the Democrats get back in charge. They’ll clamp the lid back down on it so fast, all we’ll see is a blur.
Of course, if Ohr and his wife had been pro-Trump, sworn to do whatever it took to get him INTO office, their activities would be roundly condemned by the Democrats and they’d be facing serious charges that could lead to years in prison. Hey, they could get Andrew Weissmann to prosecute, so any evidence tending to exonerate them would be buried. We all know that’s the way it would go.
It’s hard not to be a cynic these days. For a hefty (but entertaining) dose of cynicism, check out Kurt Schlichter’s new column/rant, “The Rule Of Law Is A Sick Joke.” He echoes the view of many of my readers who don’t expect anything to happen to Hillary or to any of the people who have abused their power. No, I don’t think we’ll get an old-style Hollywood ending, with the good guys triumphing and the bad guys getting what they deserve. But at least we’re exposing the injustice, and that’s a necessary first step.