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It’s Saturday evening as I write this, right after watching one of the most mesmerizing hours of TV I’ve seen in quite a while. It’s a particularly brilliant episode of LIFE, LIBERTY & LEVIN that explains why we in America are becoming less and less free, no matter who we vote for. Why our society is moving more and more to the left, no matter who we vote for. Why the central “authority” keeps growing bigger, stronger and more pervasive no matter who we vote for.

Everything clicks. It all makes sense.

 

Mark Levin’s guest was his friend of 25 years, Prof. John Marini of the University of Nevada, Reno; Senior Fellow, Claremont Institute; and author of the new book “UNMASKING THE ADMINISTRATIVE STATE: The Crisis of American Politics in the Twenty-First Century.” The show I saw on Saturday must have been a re-broadcast of the one that ran last Sunday on FOX News, which I inexplicably (and inexcusably!) missed.

Anyway, on to the administrative state, or what we call “the swamp.” Marini defines this as something much more pervasive than just the bureaucracy. One particular threat is that it possesses the kind of authority that allows politicians to defer to it, to delegate, so they don’t have to make the kind of political decisions that they, as legislators, are supposed to be making. Public deliberation is no longer a part of the legislative process; it’s mostly done behind closed doors. Congress has abdicated its role, he says, and the so-called “specialized bodies” (the “experts”) have taken over the authority to make rules. “It’s a terrible thing for a democracy,” he says.


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This happens at every level --- federal, state and local. (As someone who has tried to fight City Hall, I know that’s true.) Administrators are, in effect, making the laws we live under.

Marini explains that, typically, the people who end up in these bureaucracies are those who are university-trained, as nearly every specialized area of knowledge is utilized by government because it has taken on the decision-making in more and more areas. All areas of science are utilized in the exercise of that authority, from the hard sciences, to social and behavioral sciences, and especially in certain specialized areas such as political science and public policy. (I would also include the “sciences” that deserve quotation marks around them, such as climate “science.”) Importantly, these are areas that have been taken over by the “progressive” ideology.

Thus, the bureaucracy is an extension of universities and colleges. And since we know the kind of leftist indoctrination going on at universities and colleges, that is a really scary thought. One visit to a typical college campus should give us a pretty good idea of what the government bureaucracy is becoming. These are the people who are running things. God help us.

What about Constitutional authority for this? As Marini points out, “There is absolutely no authority for the ‘administrative realm’ in the Constitution. Every authority that is in the Constitution is a political authority.” That’s not the way these bureaucrats derive their authority.

Please, watch the whole hour of this interview. It will stun you with its clarity. It’s not just that Prof. Marini has figured all this out; it’s that he’s able to explain it perfectly without being too-too professorial. So see it and share it, and in the meantime, I’d like to leave you with some of my favorite quotes from the interview:

“There’s no question that this is all part of the progressive legacy, [which] was to establish, really, a modern administrative or ‘rational’ state. And that meant, of course, that the problems of society would be solved by ‘expert’ knowledge, not social institutions. It’s meant, really, to replace civil society...and, in a certain way, that goes --- that extends all the way down almost to the family.”

(Speaking of these so-called experts who have advanced degrees, etc...) “Those are credentials that give them the authority for that; that is not the same as knowledge.” (I’m reminded of the Scarecrow being given a diploma in THE WIZARD OF OZ; that piece of paper would have qualified him to be a governing authority.)

(After the government started spending on “health, education and welfare”...) “That changed the nature of how it is that Congressmen could look at spending. Before, you always had Congressmen that were concerned about too much spending...But once you could connect dollars to votes, after the 50s...[mostly after the ‘64 election of LBJ]...there you saw a fundamental transformation of the institution. Congress reorganized itself in 1970. It started expanding its staff. It ceased dealing with the big questions of lawmaking and started acting like little executives –- every office was its own executive oversight body of some part of the executive branch bureaucracy.”


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NOTE: I would say, just look at what we’ve got going on RIGHT NOW, with Congress not doing its primary job at all, ignoring numerous crises and wasting time conducting its own “witch hunt” in the name of oversight. Now, back to the professor...

“The government works perfectly well for organized interests...If you went to Washington before 1964, you would have found no real lobbying in Washington by any of the interests, because [under] the federal system --- the states still regulated. If you were a business that worked in California, you lobbied Sacramento...When you centralize administration, there’s only one place you need to lobby.”

“Once you establish ‘rational’ rule (rule by the ‘experts’) over political rule, the more you expand government...you’re expanding bureaucratic rule. The real problem of our time is we don’t have the ability for people to participate in their own political rule, as citizens. I mean, it’s gotten so difficult that citizens don’t even know that they’re a part of a country.”

NOTE: I would say that this is entirely deliberate on the part of the “progressives” who are running things now.

“You cannot reconcile ‘rational’ rule and political rule. “Everything is treated uniformly, by a formula...that purports to have some kind of expert knowledge behind it. The problem with that is that you turn that kind of decision-making over to people who are unaccountable.”

“[This state of affairs] makes it very difficult for people to live...free lives as individuals, as social citizens, in other words, in civil society institutions –- churches, all kinds of associations that are non-governmental. Those kinds of associations have been co-opted, really.”

“The perks that are derived from delegating power to a bureaucracy is to relieve them [Congress] from responsibility and accountability.”

(Speaking of Trump…) “I said [from the first], this guy is a danger...to the whole of the Washington establishment, of all stripes. [It’s] partly because he’s not an academic, he’s not an ‘intellectual,’ he doesn’t have ‘expertise’ in those areas where you define success abstractly [the way government defines it]...For somebody like Trump, you measure success by the outcome –- by whether this WORKS or doesn’t work. And that’s not the way Washington has worked...”

(About Trump…) “I don’t know him at all, but I like what he’s doing...I thought from the beginning, if he does what it looked like he was doing, he would be the first person to be political since Reagan –- ‘political’ in the sense of trying to get people to participate in their own government, not the people who are in the [ruling] class that participate. What we have right now is, Americans are spectators to politics.”

“When he [Trump] looks at politics from the point of view of a citizen, from the point of what the common good, the public good is, [he sees] –- and I think he’s right in thinking this –- that so many in Washington refuse to take the interest of the country first.”

“He did not even run in the way all candidates have been running the last 30 or 40 years, by breaking down the electorate into selective groups. He ran trying to get everyone to vote for him. And yet they try to portray him as if he was dividing, whereas he’s the first modern President who’s trying to unite the country.”

Is this not brilliant? He puts into words why Trump supporters voted for him and will vote for him again (you mean, it’s NOT because we’re white supremacists??) and why the country really needs him now if we’re going to avoid devolving into a total authoritarian bureaucracy. The show goes on to examine what the Trump phenomenon is doing to the bureaucracy we currently have –- and to the media –- and why they want him OUT. I just had to bring this to you, and I hope you watch the entire interview with Prof Marini.

 

Life Liberty & Levin

Evening Edition - June 24

A 5 minute read

June 24, 2019

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is still getting flak for her misinformed comparison of US detention centers for illegal entrants to Nazi concentration camps (and to all the hair-splitters trying to defend her, her invocation of the phrase “never again” in her original post made it clear that she was indeed making reference to the Holocaust).  But she’s doubling down and insisting it’s her critics who should apologize.

I’m beginning to wonder if she’s just doing this to get invitations for free travel.  So far, I’ve invited her to accompany me the next time I visit one of the actual concentration camps or the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, and a leader of our border guards invited her to come tour a detention center to see what they’re really like and the nightmare the guards are dealing with thanks to the Democrats’ policies that are encouraging mass illegal immigration. 

And now, a third invitation: Polish Parliament member Dominik Tarczy?ski was so distressed by her cavalier conflating of protecting our borders with the mass incarceration and murder of millions of Jews to score “political points with enflamed rhetoric” that he wrote a letter formally inviting her to come tour Auschwitz.  Having been there myself on more than one occasion, I can assure you that it would take a heart of stone or a brain of concrete not to grasp the enormity of the tragedy and horror that took place there. 

https://www.westernjournal.com/ocasio-cortez-deflects-concentration-camps-says-republican-apologize/

Tarczy?ski wrote, “I wish to extend the olive branch of education to you, Congresswoman, and would be delighted if you would accept my offer to come to Poland and study the concentration camps here for real, so that you can see firsthand how different it is from your immigration processing centers on the U.S. border.”  He noted that Poland was where “Adolf Hitler set up the worst chain of concentration camps the world has ever seen.”

I like the idea of the “olive branch of education.”  It reminds me of the small tree branch my mother would have made me fetch to "educate" me if I’d ever said something that offensive.  I sincerely hope she takes MP Tarczy?ski up on his kind and generous offer.  I’m sure it would be a very educational trip for AOC.  In fact, his letter should alone should be very educational for her, since he mentions that the Nazis were “the National Socialist German Workers Party of Germany.”  Doesn’t that sound “progressive”?   

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While AOC is comparing our efforts to keep up with the tsunami of illegal immigrants to the Nazis, Karol Markowitz of the New York Post has noticed something about all those Democrats running for President: they may not go as far as AOC, but they’re all blasting President Trump for his “cruel,” “callous” and “inhumane” border policies (even those that are exactly the same as Obama’s) – and yet none of them will tell us what they would do to fix the problem.

https://nypost.com/2019/06/23/democrats-refuse-to-say-what-america-should-do-about-border-crisis/

They claim they don’t want “open borders” (which at least some of them obviously do – even though “open borders” is a euphemism for “the end of the United States as a sovereign nation.”)  As far as I know, only back-of-the-pack contender John Hickenlooper has actually called for giving 10-year-plus visas and a pathway to citizenship to every one of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the US.

https://freebeacon.com/politics/hickenlooper-give-illegal-immigrants-10-year-visas-immediately/

As California is proving every day, the combination of open borders and lots of citizenship-level privileges creates a magnet for illegal immigration.  That’s so obvious that many Californians see and reject it, while most Americans east of California recognize it as the suicidal insanity it is.  Most of the Dems’ Presidential hopefuls aren’t politically suicidal enough to admit that’s what they want.  So what do they say instead?

As Markowitz points out, they declare that they want “comprehensive immigration reform.”  And that means…? 

Well, they’ll get back to you on that after the election.  “Comprehensive immigration reform” is like “common sense gun laws.”  It means they’ll apply the same failed, anti-American nostrums that punish law-abiding citizens while making the real problems worse, but under a vague new name that makes it sound more reasonable.    

Ms Markowitz rightly notes that the Democrats’ big problem is their unthinking “Resistance” stance.  They have to oppose whatever Trump says or does, even when he says things that are unquestionably true (“there’s an illegal immigration crisis at the border”) and wants to do things they once supported (she points out that under Obama, the US spent $2.3 billion building and maintaining 654 miles of Southern border barriers, with Speaker Nancy “Border walls are immoral” Pelosi’s support; and that while Trump “cruelly” deported over 256,000 people last year, Obama deported over 409,000 in 2012 alone.)   

So far, the media have let the Democrats slide on the “You attack Trump a lot for how he’s dealing with this problem, but what would YOU do about it?” question.  That’s because they like attacks on Trump (they think it’s their job, too.)  So chances are that question won’t be asked in the upcoming reality shows masquerading as debates. 

But the voters who attend town halls and other candidate events shouldn’t let them off the hook. If a candidate slams how Trump is dealing with overwhelming illegal immigration but refuses to say specifically what he or she would do differently, then assume that answer means “I have no answer, I just really want to be President.”

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What could possibly make CNN, CBS, ABC, C-SPAN and Fox News join together in solidarity and protest?  The South Carolina Democratic Party’s decision that none of those news networks will even be allowed to cover this week’s Democratic Presidential debate, which will be hosted by the famously nonpartisan and objective MSNBC, which also apparently will be the only outlet allowed to cover it.  The other networks called this “the antithesis of openness.”

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/jun/23/inside-the-beltway-first-democratic-debate-akin-to/

Maybe MSNBC insisted on it in hopes that a monopoly will boost its ratings (average of 1.66 million viewers in prime time, down 19% from last year.) 

You can read more at the link about this attempt either to resuscitate MSNBC or keep Americans from seeing this slow motion train wreck.  Also, catch the article above it that contains the sage observation that the Democratic debates will be the biggest gathering of liberals since Woodstock.  Except to listen to their proposals, you’d assume that the liberals at the debates were taking more LSD than the ones at Woodstock. 

President Trump and Iran

June 22, 2019

One thing we’ve learned over the past couple of years is that many in the media cover President Trump by writing some angry, outraged headline about what they think he would say or do, then writing the story to try to make it match the headline.  And so, many of them took to the airwaves and social media the second Iran shot down one of our drones to warn that the crazy, belligerent Trump was about to plunge America into war.  In fact, House Democrats were already doing what they always do: rushing to find a way to block Trump from doing what he might think he had to do to protect America.

But then, a funny thing happened.  With military leaders just minutes away from launching retaliatory strikes, Trump called them off.  You might say that he decided to nuke the liberal narrative instead.

https://www.westernjournal.com/trump-offers-inside-look-new-details-regarding-iran-retaliation-decision/

As he explained to NBC, he asked how many Iranian casualties might result from the strikes.  When told about 150 people might die, he said he decided that was not proportional to shooting down an unmanned drone, so he called off the strike to come up with a more measured, appropriate response. 

Just as Trump has proved to be a really incompetent “racist” by helping create so many jobs for African-Americans, and a very bad “Nazi” by being the best friend Israel’s ever had in the White House, he’s now disappointed rabid Trump haters who assured us he was a hotheaded war monger and who miss the cool, measured style of Barack Obama. 

Say, that reminds me: you know who wouldn’t have hesitated to order drone strikes that would’ve killed a lot of innocent bystanders?...


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Ironically, it’s thanks to another Trump policy vilified by his critics that we have options for dealing with Iran other than missiles.  Trump removed the shackles that Obama put on America’s energy industry, leading to a boom in US oil and natural gas production.  That means we’re no longer dependent on oil exports that have to move through Middle Eastern shipping channels.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Asia-has-most-to-lose-if-Middle-East-turmoil-hits-oil-supplies

So now, if Iran’s belligerence disrupts Middle Eastern oil exports, Asia will suffer most. That means Iran won’t just be America’s or Israel’s problem.  It will be a problem for Japan, Indonesia, Korea, India and most of all, China.  In short, Trump’s “drill, baby, drill” policy to make America energy-independent may force China to step up and help make Iran behave without us having to fire a shot. 

You might consider that unexpected bank shot as Trump’s devastating retaliatory blow against not only Iran, but all the NeverTrumpers in the media.