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Parsing Mike Bloomberg

February 17, 2020

If you thought that Mike Bloomberg’s old comments about minorities and crime were bad news for his presidential campaign, then these resurfaced comments could explain why he opted to skip the Iowa Caucuses.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/bloomberg-implied-farming-is-easy-in-2016-comments

Speaking at Oxford University’s business school in 2016, Bloomberg described the job of farming like this: “I could teach anybody, even people in this room, no offense intended, to be a farmer. It's a process. You dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on top, add water, up comes the corn.” In contrast, he said today’s information era jobs require people to learn “how to think and analyze, and that is a whole degree level different. You have to have a different skill set, you have to have a lot more gray matter.”

(FYI: his comment about the low mental difficulty of factory workers’ jobs was hardly any less dismissive.)

Naturally, this is not going over too well with the agricultural community, who, surprisingly, know how to access information on the Internet and how to read. As one commenter put it, you couldn’t ask for a better example of a clueless New York bubble dweller quote – short of saying that ranching is easy because meat comes on little Styrofoam trays so you just have to put plastic wrap over it. I could just as well reply that it’s easy to learn to code because all you have to do is “learn to code.”

There’s an entire literature of jokes built on farmers outsmarting arrogant city slickers, and those stretch back to long before farmers were using advanced technology to plan and time crop rotations, calculate yields, track weather patterns and run giant, Internet-connected farming equipment like this:

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/358512

I’ve said before that running for President these days is like undergoing a particularly thorough colonoscopy without anesthetic. Bloomberg’s billions can’t insulate him from having all his past statements dug up and parsed. And apparently, there are a lot more to come. His own employees even compiled a book of them, which shows that minorities and farmers aren’t the only people he doesn’t have much respect for (warning: some rough language at the link):

https://lidblog.com/the-portable-bloomberg/

And his reported comments to female employees, particularly about pregnant employees, aren’t likely to endear him to women voters.

https://www.westernjournal.com/bloomberg-camp-rocked-complaint-lists-mikes-shockingly-racist-sexist-remarks/

Maybe Bloomberg mistakenly thought running for President is easy: you just buy billions of dollars’ worth of ads and order your reporters not to say anything bad about you, only about the other guy. If so, he should’ve had more gray matter than to think that.

President's Day

February 17, 2020

Happy Presidents’ Day! This is a day when Americans celebrate all Presidents, but in a larger sense, we celebrate the system by which we pick our national leader. The Founders devised a brilliant system that gave a say to all the individual states, with their vastly different cultures and interests. We also celebrate our unprecedented history of respecting the vote of the people and the peaceful transfer of power. It’s too bad that many people now are so eager to trash the Electoral system, disrespect the voters’ choice and resist the peaceful transfer of power in the name of preserving their own political power. But they can at least pretend to respect those traditions for one day, then go back to observing “NOT My President Day” the other 364 days of the year (or 365 in leap years like this.)

I wrote an essay about Presidents’ Day in 2018, and I think it bears repeating, since nothing really has changed since it first appeared…

Monday was Presidents Day, and this year brought sobering new evidence that not only are Americans sadly ignorant of US history, but our historians aren’t exactly setting the woods on fire in that department, either.

A number of polls were released, asking the public to rank the greatest Presidents of all time. Overall, the highest vote-getters were John Kennedy, Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan. JFK had some major accomplishments, like the space program, but his term was tragically cut short after less than three years. Obama’s #1 ranking is similar to those Internet lists of the “all-time greatest movies” that include nothing made before 1995 (“Wow, ‘The Last Jedi’ is #1!”) They’re more a testament to the youthful ignorance of the rankers than the quality of the films. And while I take a back seat to nobody in my admiration for Reagan’s accomplishments, even he would likely protest that Washington and Lincoln should have been on top.

I don’t think most people these days appreciate the unprecedented service Washington performed by refusing to rule as a king and voluntarily stepping down from power to rejoin the people. Without his example, the presidency might not even be recognizable today. Well, at least George and Abe made the top 10 in most polls, but I suspect it’s less because of their historical significance than the fact that young people know them from the money. We’re lucky they didn’t name Alexander Hamilton as the best President, because he’s on the $10 bill and he starred in that rap musical.

But it’s easy to pick on the choices of the general public, who will naturally name things that are most recent and fresh in their minds. But what excuses do alleged experts have for their biased and uninformed choices? For instance, the 2018 Presidents & Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey is based on responses from current and recent members of the Presidents & Executive Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. They ranked Lincoln #1 and Washington #2. Their top 10 also includes Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and FDR. But LBJ at #10? (I get it: they love big government). Reagan only made it to #9, and at #8: Barack Obama (it goes without saying that they ranked Trump dead last, despite him presiding over the destruction of ISIS, a tax cut that’s firing up the economy and the rollback of executive overreach, all in his first year -- yet he’s ranked lower than William Henry Harrison, who died of pneumonia 31 days after being sworn in. He must’ve had one heck of a month.)

I think all you need to know about the “expertise” (or the bias) of these particular Presidential experts is that their top 10 includes Obama but not, say, James K. Polk. Polk oversaw the winning of the Mexican-American War; the reestablishing of the independent Treasury system; the annexation of Texas; the Oregon Treaty that set the border with Canada and won more of Oregon from the British than anyone expected; and the Mexican Cession, which added territory that included the current states of California, Nevada and Utah, most of Arizona, half of New Mexico, and some pretty sizable chunks of Colorado and Wyoming. He even tried to buy Cuba, which would have prevented a lot of grief down the road, but Spain wouldn’t sell. And Polk did all that and more in just four years because he kept his promise to serve only one term. For that alone, he deserves to be in the top 10 (They rank Polk at #20, seven places below Bill Clinton).

In comparison, Obama’s eight years gave us…Obamacare? A record stretch of low GDP growth? The spread of ISIS? Michelle’s school lunch program?

I can’t help wondering how many of these alleged “presidential history experts” who lionize Obama live in states that wouldn’t even be part of America if it weren’t for James K. Polk.

A final Huck’s Hero salute to a true American hero: Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Donald Stratton passed away in his sleep at age 97. The Navy veteran was one of the last survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack on the USS Arizona. 1,177 of his shipmates were killed when Japanese planes bombed the USS Arizona. But he and at least five other sailors survived when another sailor threw them a lifeline from a nearby ship. They struggled hand-over-hand for about 70 feet, with the other sailor calling, “Come on, sailor! You can make it!”

For decades, Stratton never knew the identity of his rescuer. But during a reunion of Pearl Harbor survivors in 2001, he learned it was Chief Petty Officer Joe George, who had died in 1996. Stratton and fellow USS Arizona survivor Lauren Bruner then took on another urgent battle: to get official recognition of George’s heroism. They even traveled to Washington to meet with President Trump. Thanks to their efforts, in 2017, the Navy finally awarded George a posthumous Bronze Star with valor.

There’s more at the link, including photos and video I know you’ll want to see. Rest in peace, George Stratton. A grateful nation thanks you for your duty and sacrifice. And our prayers and condolences to his family and his wife of nearly 70 years, Velma Stratton.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/donald-stratton-pearl-harbor-uss-arizona-died

Trump shines at Daytona

February 17, 2020

Over the weekend, President Trump paid a visit to the Daytona 500 that reminded NASCAR fans of why he was known as one of our greatest showmen before he even entered politics. It started with a thrilling buzz of the event in Air Force One...

https://youtu.be/t9borCIRsBw

Then the First Lady joined him for some patriotic comments…

https://youtu.be/B6_H6NjiIMk

And he even took a lap of the track in the armored Presidential limo, “The Beast.” It had the crowd cheering and race commentators declaring it “awesome!”

https://www.news-journalonline.com/news/20200216/trump-pumps-daytona-500-crowd-with-speech-starting-lap

But of course, the liberal media outlets were not impressed. They were (and stop me if you’ve heard this before) “outraged!” How DARE Trump use government resources like Air Force One and the Presidential limo to attend an event that might burnish his election chances, they stewed…conveniently ignoring all the times they cheered Obama’s coolness for doing things like throwing out the first ball at the World Series, using the limo for an interview with Jerry Seinfeld, and flying to L.A. so many times to vacuum money out of the pockets of leftwing celebrities that Angelinos coined the term “Obama-jam” to describe the traffic tie-ups from all the street closures caused by his frequent fundraiser visits.

This was the type of all-American event that Presidents often take part in, but when Trump does it, it’s an unprecedented scandal, and possibly an impeachable offense (they should ask Alan Dershowitz about that.) I wonder if these whiners realize that they’re coming off like the sad goth kids in high school, pouting at their table in the back of the cafeteria and making snarky comments about the cool kids – not realizing that everyone knows they’re jealous and secretly wish they could be that popular.

Last week, three female high school runners filed a federal lawsuit to overturn Connecticut’s policy of allowing biological males who “identify” as girls to compete in girls’ school sports. As the story notes, “since 2017, two males have been allowed to compete in girls’ high-school track events in Connecticut. They have collectively taken 15 women’s state championship titles, all of which were previously held by females. ADF reported that these males have taken 85 advancement opportunities from female athletes in the last three seasons.”

https://www.westernjournal.com/female-athletes-file-federal-lawsuit-transgenders-repeatedly-shatter-hs-sports-records/

It’s ironic that the “social justice” crowd demand an “equal playing field” while they are literally denying that right to female athletes and turning Title IX protections for girls on their head.

In a very related story, two extremely brave university biologists have written a lengthy piece for the Wall Street Journal urging biologists and medical professionals to stop knuckling under to political correctness and stand up for the empirical fact that there are two sexes, male and female, that sex is binary (truly intersex people are extremely rare and “are neither a third sex nor proof that sex is a 'spectrum' or a 'social construct'"), and there is no such thing as a sex “spectrum.”

The biologists write that the notion that people can choose "to identify as male or female," regardless of their anatomy, is irrational and has "no basis in reality…It is false at every conceivable scale of resolution." They argue that the time for politely pretending it’s true has passed because this is harming women, gay people and children, declaring, “When authoritative scientific institutions ignore or deny empirical fact in the name of social accommodation, it is an egregious betrayal to the scientific community they represent. It undermines public trust in science, and it is dangerously harmful to those most vulnerable."

The full article is behind the WSJ’s paywall, but here’s a link to a story about it on PJ Media with another link to more included in it. This may be the latest indication that Americans are finally fed up and starting to fight back against the PC/group think/mass delusion/cancel culture mob. I think we owe President Trump a lot of the credit for showing people that you can speak your mind, stand up to all the phony outrage, fight back and win.

https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/science-says-there-are-only-two-genders-no-gender-spectrum/

There’s an old saying that in our justice system, “you can indict a ham sandwich.” But after the recent decision at the Department of Justice not to prosecute former deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe for lying, we’re seeing that for this saying to be true, there has to be one caveat: “...UNLESS the ham sandwich is part of the anti-Trump swamp.” In that case, the sandwich will remain unindicted and will walk free, to be picked up by CNN or MSNBC, where it will be hired as a paid contributor.

The decision not to indict didn’t come from Attorney General Bill Barr. The U.S. Attorney for Washington, DC, sent a letter to McCabe’s lawyer saying he wouldn’t face prosecution over the leaks and related lies. Clearly, McCabe did lie about his role in the leak to reporter Devlin Barrett, then at the WALL STREET JOURNAL, and lied some more to try to cover himself. IG Michael Horowitz’s report was blistering in its account of McCabe’s repeated lying. Legal expert Andrew McCarthy has a new piece in NATIONAL REVIEW, “Why Wasn’t Andrew McCabe Charged?” (link below) laying out the lies he told about a leak he authorized concerning the existence of an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation –- a bogus investigation, I would add, but that’s another issue –- and explaining what factors might have been involved in the decision, finally, not to charge McCabe. Compare this decision with the full-speed-ahead indictments against George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn, and it’s easy to see the two-tier justice system at work.

The tweet sent by Lisa Page on the announcement that McCabe wouldn’t be charged says it all. 

https://twitter.com/NatSecLisa/status/1228426073131692037?s=20

There she is, smiling broadly in a sunny restaurant window, raising her glass of sparkling red wine in a toast to her colleague, Andy. She’s wearing a t-shirt that says “I am done being quiet.” The caption: “Cheers, Andy.” The irony is huge, as McCarthy says she is key to McCabe’s defense, having reportedly told the grand jury that since McCabe had the authority to approve media “disclosures” (leaks), he had no reason to lie about authorizing this one. McCarthy finds this assertion laughable, as McCabe was “serially misleading investigators” (repeatedly lying to investigators) so plainly that he had to have had a reason. Also, the IG found that he had orchestrated this leak for purposes of “self-promotion,” not the public interest, and that he had done this by making his superiors at the DOJ look bad. (Well, there’s something he could be, and was, fired for!)

It’s interesting that Page is so supportive of her colleague, as McCabe’s lies originally cast suspicion on her as the source of the leak. Chuck Ross at the DAILY CALLER has a good overview...

https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/02/why-wasnt-andrew-mccabe-charged/

Page’s grand jury testimony made prosecution of McCabe more difficult, at least in McCarthy’s analysis. “It’s tough to win a case when your witnesses are spinning for the defendant,” he says. I’d say this is especially problematic when your case is in Washington, DC, with a grand jury almost certainly infected with Trump-hate. How is it possible to win a conviction when you can’t even get an indictment from people who are automatically biased in favor of the accused?

Do you remember why McCabe lied in the first place? There was an internal conflict at the Bureau about the (purported) Clinton Foundation probe, stemming from the Obama DOJ pressuring the FBI to just drop it –- obviously part of their comprehensive efforts to rig the election for Hillary. About two weeks before the election, McCabe was the subject of a critical article by then-WSJ reporter Barrett that questioned –- with good reason, I’d add –- his fitness to lead an investigation into Hillary Clinton, as his wife had received a mind-bogglingly huge campaign contribution in her unsuccessful race for state senator from Clinton crony and then-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. McCabe got ticked off about the article and responded by authorizing a leak to Barrett, apparently crafted to paint himself as independent, not under the thumb of his superiors. The DOJ, in turn, were aghast about any investigation into the Clinton Foundation being discussed publicly two weeks before Hillary’s intended coronation---I mean election.

Here’s a great “refresher” on the details from McCarthy, written at the time Horowitz referred McCabe for possible criminal prosecution.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/04/andrew-mccabe-collusion-obama-justice-department-clinton-campaign/

And here’s the new piece, detailing McCabe’s sequence of lies as he kept deepening the hole he’d dug for himself. At the same time, it tempers the certainty of McCabe’s deception with the challenges of prosecuting him before an anti-Trump DC jury. His attorneys would surely argue he was being prosecuted for being at odds with a President they (the jurors) can’t stand. They’d identify with McCabe and feel bad for him. That’s one reason why we have such a blatant two-tier justice system in Washington, DC.

Why Wasn’t Andrew McCabe Charged? | National Review

I’m not sure a lot of Americans pay much attention to the chatter-heads on liberal media who hate President Trump so much that they’ve become irrational and hysterical.

When the President dismissed Lt. Col. Vindman and his twin brother from their positions in the White House National Security Council office, you would have thought that the President personally went to their desks, grabbed them by the collar, and boot-kicked them out in 3 feet of snow on the White House Lawn. It was said to be vindictive, outrageous, unprecedented, unpatriotic, and that was just for starters.

Lt. Col VIndman deserves our respect for his decorated military service. What he does not deserve is to be treated like a martyr yanked from duty because he was just doing too great a job. And both he and his brother didn’t lose their paychecks. They went right back to the Pentagon and never missed one day of pay or benefits. What they lost were their positions at the White House on the staff of the National Security Council. My reaction was not to think it so very cruel, but to wonder why it didn’t happen sooner and why aren’t there more being ushered out the door.

Vindmam was a hold-over from the Obama administration. In sworn testimony before Congress several months ago, his direct supervisor complained of Vindman failing to follow the proper chain of command and seeming to think that the President ought to be taking more policy advice from him.

There are 2 kinds of government employees—there are civil service employees who supposedly are politically neutral and who have jobs from which they can almost never get fired—even when they should be. To fire one of them requires “cause.” And that cause has to be something criminal, aggresiously unethical, or grossly insubordinate. And it’s still VERY hard to get rid of them. Then there are those employees who have jobs defined as “serving at the pleasure of the President.” That’s a broad definition but it means these are political appointees and can be terminated without cause. It’s literally at the “pleasure of the President.” And if he has no pleasure with such a person, they can be frog-marched off the grounds because of what they ordered at Waffle House. No reason has to be given.

When I was governor, I oversaw over 70,000 employees. Most were civil service. It was easier to get Adam Schiff to decline a TV interview than fire one. But there were hundreds of employees that were deemed “at will, “ or who “served at the pleasure of the Governor.” I could fire them at any time for any reason. I fired quite a few, but not nearly enough.

Presidents (and Governors and Mayor for that matter) routinely replace political appointees from a previous administration and no one from the press makes a peep. On his first day in office, President Obama fired every single US attorney and every Ambassador President Bush appointed. Bush got rid of Clinton’s people. Not a scandal. Elections have consequences, and if you win, you get to put your own team on the field. Stop the crocodile tears about Vindman or anyone else who got sacked. If President Trump has made a mistake, it was not cleaning house on day one. He should not be expected to keep people around him who leak to the press, whine about the decisions of the Commander in Chief, or get upset when the person who went through the rigors of a campaign and got elected expect the people getting a paycheck from him to either show some loyalty or get the heck out. If there is one skill Donald Trump brought to the White House, it was one he got really known for on the long-running TV show “The Apprentice.” His signature line was “You’re FIRED!” I think he needs to be saying it a lot more!