Democrats continue to (ironically) stonewall all of Trump’s efforts to build a wall, or to do anything to fix what even the New York Times now concedes is an immigration crisis, the Chief Executive does have some powerful tools he could use as a last resort. One that’s suddenly getting talked about a lot is the Insurrection Act of 1807, last invoked by President Bush to quell the L.A. riots in 1992. It allows him to use the National Guard and military to deal with the crisis. There’s more about it here.
There’s no confirmation of this story, and White House spokesman Hogan Gidley wouldn’t say whether it was or was not under consideration.
There’s no question that Trump has the authority to do it, although he would, of course, face legal challenges from Democrats rushing to federal judges to try to stop him. But if Democrats are that concerned about making sure he doesn’t invoke the Insurrection Act to deal with illegal immigration, there’s always the unthinkable option of ending their own ongoing insurrection and actually working with the President to solve the problem so he doesn’t have to resort to extreme measures like invoking the Insurrection Act.
Financial analysts are pointing out with some alarm a drop in the amount of US debt being bought by China, and arguing over whether this is retaliation for Trump’s push to renegotiate trade deals and what it might do to the US bond market. They say any further cuts by China in the amount of US government debt that it buys could be a “nuclear option” to force us to cave.
I certainly agree that this news should be a wake-up call, but not to Trump to make nice with the Chinese. It should be a wake-up call to all our national leaders about what a vulnerable position they’ve put America in by running up a mountain of debt that leaves up dependent on other nations, including our adversaries, to finance their profligate spending. Frankly, if China sells off some of our debt that they’ve stockpiled to someone else, that would be fine with me. Now, continue pressing to make better deals so that we can generate more money, do something at last about reining in deficit spending, and stop mortgaging our kids’ futures.
This should be even more urgent, considering a new projection by the Treasury Department’s Office of Debt Management that we’re just five years away from the point where every new dollar the government borrows will go to fund the interest on the national debt.
If true, that will make for some pretty rough times between five years from now, when we might go into an economic “death spiral,” as some are predicting, and 12 years from now, when we’re all going to be dead from climate change. It may be that the only way to stave off depression is to stop reading predictions out of Washington.
Just as they threatened, a group of rabidly anti-Trump House Democrats took turns engaging in a marathon reading-out-loud of the entire, nearly 500-page Mueller report, starting at noon Thursday and going on until early Friday morning. Some of the Dems’ brightest bulbs took part, including Gerald Nadler, Sheila Jackson Lee, Ilhan Omar, Ted Lieu and Maxine Waters. They denied that was a cheap political stunt, or “a ploy to keep anything going.” The story did not say whether they denied that it was a waste of time or of the salaries they’re paid by taxpayers. I guess that goes without saying.
Just in case listening to 14-hours of a long, boring, ultimately pointless government report being read in some of the most grating voices since “The Nanny” left the air appeals to you, you’ll be thrilled to hear that they plan to release it as an audio book. So now we finally know the answer to the question, “What’s a worse Christmas gift than a Chia Pet of Don King?”
I think we may have finally found a Presidential contender about whom it can truly be said that he is a uniter, not a divider. Since the minute New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio announced his run for the White House, both the left and right have come together for once to mock the very idea of electing him President.
There are a lot of inexperienced and/or incompetent people running for the Democratic nomination, but none can boast of such a Grand Canyon-wide gap between their smug arrogance and their actual negative accomplishments. This has inspired some of the most entertaining political commentary of an otherwise serious and divisive news week. Greg Gutfeld and Tucker Carlson of Fox News both had fun with it…
As Carlson notes, not even reliably liberal CNN and MSNBC will cover for DeBlasio, possibly because both are headquartered in New York, and their employees have to drive past homeless people and piles of uncollected garbage to get to work. DeBlasio managed even to bring his warring home town newspapers together. The liberal Daily News’ critical stories included a rundown of his many scandals, failures and broken promises plus a suggestion that his presidential run is just a national-level scam to rake in donor money from suckers.
And the conservative New York Post piled on with an article titled, “DeBlasio Unites America – Against His Presidential Bid.” It quotes one voter as worrying that the city will atrophy if he goes off to run for President. I assume the rest worry that it will atrophy if he stays and continues acting as Mayor.
Of course, President Trump had to chime in, with both tweets and a video. Among his zingers was this: “If you like high taxes, and if you like crime, you can vote for him. But most people aren’t into that.”
DeBlasio fired back that Trump had his facts wrong, and that crime in New York City had dropped over the past five years. (I notice he didn’t say taxes had dropped.) So I decided to fact-check that. And not the fashionable sort of “fact-check,” but one where you actually check facts.
According to NYPD records, DeBlasio is right that the total number of major felony crimes has dropped over recent years. But if you examine it by category, it’s a mixed bag. For instance, from 2017-2018, the drop in total crime was mostly thanks to fewer robberies and burglaries, but there were three more murders, about 350 more rapes, about 150 more felony assaults (I think I'd rather be robbed) and over 400 more grand larcenies. There were also 248 fewer vehicle thefts, but that could just be because would-be car thieves know they can’t make a getaway in the deadlocked traffic jams (okay, that’s not a “fact,” it’s just an educated guess.)
I should note that DeBlasio’s presidential ambitions have even managed to put Trump and renowned Never-Trumper Jonah Goldberg on the same page:
So while I don’t agree with much of anything in DeBlasio’s political agenda (he actually kicked off the race by claiming that too much money is “in the wrong hands,” and he knows better than the free market how to distribute it), I do thank him for inspiring some much-needed humor and badly-missed unity. It’s refreshing for once to see a protester at Trump Tower holding a sign that says, “You suck!” and knowing that (A.) it’s not aimed at President Trump and (B.) you can’t even tell if the protester is a Democrat or a Republican because he’s stating something everyone can agree on. Bill DeBlasio: The Consensus Candidate!
Something you don’t see every day, or hardly ever: a voice of sanity from Hollywood. Also bravery. I guess having a lot of talent and all those “Frasier” residuals helps.
Read to the end, where he points out something that bears repeating: that the “same bunch of clowns” who are attacking Trump were in charge of Washington for decades and they weren’t “doing us any favors.” That thought also occurs to me every time I hear the pompous John Kerry types blasting Trump for not correctly dealing with the nuclear threats in North Korea and Iran that he inherited from their years of "smart diplomacy."
Chick-fil-A responded to leftist critics who are trying to brand the chain as anti-LGBT and drive them out of airports, cities and college campuses because they donate to Christian charities that support traditional marriage. Read it and see what’s really being supported. I bet you’ll have a sudden urge for a Chick-fil-A sandwich when you’re finished.
Incidentally, if you think you’re a crusader for goodness and compassion, and you’re trying to destroy somebody for donating to the Salvation Army, then you’re doing it all wrong.
President Trump’s pardon of publisher Conrad Black is being treated in the media as an indefensible crony favor to a criminal who wrote a book praising Trump. I won’t bother linking to that because you could Google it and that’s about all you'd read in just about any of the articles in the major media outlets.
So I thought I’d link to Black’s own account of what happened and why Trump pardoned him. This might make you suspect that when you read stories about Trump’s actions in the mainstream press, you might not be getting a complete, balanced account of the facts and the full context.
Brace for a shock: a new study found that Democrats exaggerated their levels of mental distress after the 2016 election.
Researchers examined surveys of public responses to Trump’s election, then compared them to Internet search data. They found that while Democrats tended to claim they were suffering from mental distress, there was no increase in their searches for stress relief, mental health treatment, anti-depressants or other topics that someone actually suffering from mental distress might search for.
The researchers chalk up the “mental distress” claims of Democrats to a kind of reverse partisan cheerleading, to signal solidarity with their particular group.
Of course, it’s possible they did suffer severe mental breakdowns and dealt with them not by searching for professional help but by smoking a lot of pot, watching Rachel Maddow and Stephen Colbert, and getting obsessed with “Russian collusion” conspiracy fantasies. Judging from recent evidence, I think it might be time to start searching for that professional help.