Chancey Biden

For those who are unfamiliar with either the book or the 1979 movie starring Peter Sellers, “Being There” is an allegory about a simple-minded man — Chance, the gardener — whose world is defined by what he has seen in the garden and on TV. Through various twists of fate, Chance the gardener becomes Chauncey Gardiner, and is catapulted to the upper echelons of society, business and government.

His advice is sought by the president and other world leaders, who interpret Chauncey’s simple statements about the garden as pithy metaphors about the economy.

For example, asked if the government can stimulate economic growth with temporary incentives, Chauncey replies: “As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden.”

He explains that “growth has its seasons.” And, yes, “there will be growth in the spring.”

Compare those comments with these Bidenisms:

“As my father says, Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget. I’ll tell you what you value.”

“My wife has an expression: Any country that out educates us will out compete us.

“If my mother were here, she’d say, ‘Joe, hush up and start taking some questions.’ ”

Without your word, you’re not a man” (his dad); “As long as a person’s alive, they have the obligation to strive” (his mom); or “The greatest gift God gave to mankind was the ability to forget” (his first wife, who died in a car accident).

‘Joey, don’t compare me to the Almighty, compare me to the alternative.’ ’’

“I shouldn’t have started this because it was too complicated, I know

My dad would “say, ‘Joe, remember, never argue with your wife about anything that is going to happen more than a year from now.’ ”

Those anecdotes from Chancey Joe are folksy, for sure, but other ones are more disturbing:

“Unless we do something about this, my children are going to grow up in a racial jungle, with tensions so high that it is going to explode.

“If you have a problem figuring out if you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

I know nothing about those moves to investigate Michael Flynn,”

“I told Ukraine, if the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the billion dollars.”

If Trump loses and won’t leave, I’m convinced the Military will escort him from the White House with great dispatch.”

“We would make sure Coal and Fracking are eliminated, and no more subsidies for either one of those, period.’”

“I would immediately rejoin the Paris climate accord, which I helped put together.”

When a woman comes forward with claims of sexual violence “at least the essence” of what she is saying should be presumed true.

“I would do everything possible to make it required that people have to wear masks in public.

Update 2020 Divide: Producers vs. Parasites

Update June 14, 2020:  The New Face of Diversity

The silent march in Seattle on Friday shows how diversity looks according to BLM.  Those who think like us but don’t look like us are tolerated, so long as they know their place at the bottom.  Look at how the parade was organized.  From KOMO in Seattle.  In italics with my bolds;

In Seattle, marchers met at Judkins Park at 1 p.m. and start marching to Jefferson Park just after 2 p.m.

Organizers say the march was a black-led event and asked participants to respect the march procession order, starting with Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County leadership, followed by (in order) black youth, black community members, people of color, elected and appointed officials, political candidates, white allies and bicyclists.

Rosa Parks refused to ride in the back of the bus.  Should non-Blacks submit to 2nd, 3rd, or lower class citizenship?  This is pure Marxist class warfare, with no redeeming qualities, and adding segregation on top.  What is on offer is pitched street battles to throw the rascals (whites) out, destroy their monuments, place BLM leaders in power, and impose their will upon the others.

Background

In 2015 I posted on the US socio-political climate after Trump entered the contest.  Animal Farm and Climate Change.  The introduction went this way:Animal Farm2

George Orwell’s Animal Farm is a masterpiece of a simple story suggesting so many realities of societies. Among many things, it shows how a basic dichotomy mobilizes people (or creatures) for social or political action. The image above expresses the heart of the story whereby some animals took power over the others out of fear of humans.

Consider another dichotomy:    Producers Good, Parasites Bad.

Bumper Sticker

Bumper Sticker

People who are astounded by Donald Trump’s candidacy are overlooking how widely and deeply felt is this distinction between those who produce and those who take, and not only in the Tea Party but far beyond. The power arises from the emotional investment in the branding, no matter how illogical or mistaken it may be. Those who don’t feel it, don’t “get it.” Add in the envy of someone so rich he can say anything unbounded by Political Correctness, and Trump becomes a force to be reckoned with. It remains to be seen whether his followers are voters beyond being fans.

 2020 Update

Against all odds, and to his own surprise, Trump went on to win the Presidency and survive a fierce resistance from entrenched partisans who voted for his opponent.  Now that effort to unseat him is intensifying leading up to this year’s general election.  The rioting triggered by George Floyd’s death shows that the Producer/Parasite dichotomy is now overlaid with racial bigotry:  Black Lives Good/ White Lives Bad.  Premium brand items were targeted in the looting, justified by saying:  “People deserve to have nice things.”

The Parasite claim comes through the the Black Lives Matter manifesto calling for freebies.  #BlackLivesMatter movement bizarrely demands: “Reparations for…full and free access for all Black people (including undocumented and currently and formerly incarcerated people) to lifetime education…retroactive forgiveness of student loans, and support for lifetime learning programs.”  See When a Hate Cult Took the Streets

The producer/parasite divide also appeared in governors’ priorities during lockdowns:  Public Workers Essential/ Private Workers Nonessential. As some observed, knowledge workers and employees paid with tax dollars didn’t miss a check while taxpaying workers who make things were laid off. See Bad Idea: Politicians Decide Essential Business

And this gets at the heart of the contradiction between socialists’ focus on redistributing wealth vs. capitalists’ emphasis on producing wealth.  In the current meme, capitalism and its artifacts must be destroyed to make way for the people’s paradise. It is remarkable that the ideological divide is opening up at all levels,  Federal, State and City, including national policies and pandemic relief, state post-covid regulations and city policing priorities.

Another twist:  This is not your stereotypical uprising of the poor against the rich.  Ed West explains how and why upper middle class youth are in revolt against the “system” they see aligned against them.  The essay at Unherd is Why the rich are revolting. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The Great Awokening and the 2020 protests are the product of growing radicalisation among the upper-middle-class

That year (1968), the United States was rocked by riots, assassinations and political crisis, and half a century later, history seems to be, if not repeating itself, then certainly rhyming. Yet while there are huge differences between the 1968 and 2020 disturbances, the one continuous theme running through both uprisings, and indeed all revolutions down the years, is the prominent role of the middle class. In particular, the upper-middle-class, the haute bourgeoise, are the driving force behind revolt and disorder throughout history, especially — as with today — when they feel they have no future.

Today’s unrest involves two sections of US society, African-Americans and upper-middle-class whites, who together form the axis of the Democratic Party, but it is the latter who are far more engaged in racial activism. The “Great Awokening”, the mass movement focused on eradicating racism in America and with a quasi-religious, almost hysterical feel to it, is dominated by the upper middle class.

The rich have always paradoxically been radical, something G.K. Chesterton observed over a hundred years ago when he wrote “You’ve got that eternal idiotic idea that if anarchy came it would come from the poor. Why should it? The poor have been rebels, but they have never been anarchists: they have more interest than anyone else in there being some decent government. The poor man really has a stake in the country. The rich man hasn’t; he can go away to New Guinea in a yacht. The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all. Aristocrats were always anarchists.”

The wider Great Awokening, of which the 2020 disturbances are a part, is a very elite phenomenon, with progressive activists nearly twice as likely as the average American to make more than $100,000 a year, nearly three times as likely to have a postgraduate degree, and only one-quarter as likely to be black. Likewise with the radicalisation of American academia, with the safe spaces movement most prevalent at elite colleges, where students were much more likely to disinvite speakers or express more extreme views.

Climate protesters disrupt Yale-Harvard football game. Nov. 23, 2019.

Meanwhile, the expansion of the university system has created what Russian-American academic Peter Turchin called ‘elite overproduction’, the socially dangerous situation where too many people are chasing too few elite places in society, creating “a large class of disgruntled elite-wannabes, often well-educated and highly capable… denied access to elite positions”.

So while around half of 18-year-olds are going onto college, only a far smaller number of jobs actually require a degree. Many of those graduates, under the impression they were joining the higher tier in society, will not even reach managerial level and will be left disappointed and hugely indebted. Many will have studied various activist-based subjects collectively referred to as ‘grievance studies’, so-called because they rest on a priori assumptions about power and oppression. Whether these disciplines push students towards the Left, or if it is just attending university that has this effect, people are coming out of university far more politically agitated.

This has been bubbling up for years — and then along came the coronavirus, throwing millions of people out of work, many from exactly the sort of sections most likely to cause trouble. And what makes it slightly spooky is that a few years back Turchin predicted that there would be a violent flashpoint in American politics — in 2020.

2020 Divide: Producers vs. Parasites

In 2015 I posted on the US socio-political climate after Trump entered the contest.  Animal Farm and Climate Change.  The introduction went this way:Animal Farm2

George Orwell’s Animal Farm is a masterpiece of a simple story suggesting so many realities of societies. Among many things, it shows how a basic dichotomy mobilizes people (or creatures) for social or political action. The image above expresses the heart of the story whereby some animals took power over the others out of fear of humans.

Consider another dichotomy:    Producers Good, Parasites Bad.

Bumper Sticker

Bumper Sticker

People who are astounded by Donald Trump’s candidacy are overlooking how widely and deeply felt is this distinction between those who produce and those who take, and not only in the Tea Party but far beyond. The power arises from the emotional investment in the branding, no matter how illogical or mistaken it may be. Those who don’t feel it, don’t “get it.” Add in the envy of someone so rich he can say anything unbounded by Political Correctness, and Trump becomes a force to be reckoned with. It remains to be seen whether his followers are voters beyond being fans.

 2020 Update

Against all odds, and to his own surprise, Trump went on to win the Presidency and survive a fierce resistance from entrenched partisans who voted for his opponent.  Now that effort to unseat him is intensifying leading up to this year’s general election.  The rioting triggered by George Floyd’s death shows that the Producer/Parasite dichotomy is now overlaid with racial bigotry:  Black Lives Good/ White Lives Bad.  Premium brand items were targeted in the looting, justified by saying:  “People deserve to have nice things.”

The Parasite claim comes through the the Black Lives Matter manifesto calling for freebies.  #BlackLivesMatter movement bizarrely demands: “Reparations for…full and free access for all Black people (including undocumented and currently and formerly incarcerated people) to lifetime education…retroactive forgiveness of student loans, and support for lifetime learning programs.”  See When a Hate Cult Took the Streets

The producer/parasite divide also appeared in governors’ priorities during lockdowns:  Public Workers Essential/ Private Workers Nonessential. As some observed, knowledge workers and employees paid with tax dollars didn’t miss a check while taxpaying workers who make things were laid off. See Bad Idea: Politicians Decide Essential Business

And this gets at the heart of the contradiction between socialists’ focus on redistributing wealth vs. capitalists’ emphasis on producing wealth.  In the current meme, capitalism and its artifacts must be destroyed to make way for the people’s paradise. It is remarkable that the ideological divide is opening up at all levels,  Federal, State and City, including national policies and pandemic relief, state post-covid regulations and city policing priorities.

Another twist:  This is not your stereotypical uprising of the poor against the rich.  Ed West explains how and why upper middle class youth are in revolt against the “system” they see aligned against them.  The essay at Unherd is Why the rich are revolting. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The Great Awokening and the 2020 protests are the product of growing radicalisation among the upper-middle-class

That year (1968), the United States was rocked by riots, assassinations and political crisis, and half a century later, history seems to be, if not repeating itself, then certainly rhyming. Yet while there are huge differences between the 1968 and 2020 disturbances, the one continuous theme running through both uprisings, and indeed all revolutions down the years, is the prominent role of the middle class. In particular, the upper-middle-class, the haute bourgeoise, are the driving force behind revolt and disorder throughout history, especially — as with today — when they feel they have no future.

Today’s unrest involves two sections of US society, African-Americans and upper-middle-class whites, who together form the axis of the Democratic Party, but it is the latter who are far more engaged in racial activism. The “Great Awokening”, the mass movement focused on eradicating racism in America and with a quasi-religious, almost hysterical feel to it, is dominated by the upper middle class.

The rich have always paradoxically been radical, something G.K. Chesterton observed over a hundred years ago when he wrote “You’ve got that eternal idiotic idea that if anarchy came it would come from the poor. Why should it? The poor have been rebels, but they have never been anarchists: they have more interest than anyone else in there being some decent government. The poor man really has a stake in the country. The rich man hasn’t; he can go away to New Guinea in a yacht. The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all. Aristocrats were always anarchists.”

The wider Great Awokening, of which the 2020 disturbances are a part, is a very elite phenomenon, with progressive activists nearly twice as likely as the average American to make more than $100,000 a year, nearly three times as likely to have a postgraduate degree, and only one-quarter as likely to be black. Likewise with the radicalisation of American academia, with the safe spaces movement most prevalent at elite colleges, where students were much more likely to disinvite speakers or express more extreme views.

Climate protesters disrupt Yale-Harvard football game. Nov. 23, 2019.

Meanwhile, the expansion of the university system has created what Russian-American academic Peter Turchin called ‘elite overproduction’, the socially dangerous situation where too many people are chasing too few elite places in society, creating “a large class of disgruntled elite-wannabes, often well-educated and highly capable… denied access to elite positions”.

So while around half of 18-year-olds are going onto college, only a far smaller number of jobs actually require a degree. Many of those graduates, under the impression they were joining the higher tier in society, will not even reach managerial level and will be left disappointed and hugely indebted. Many will have studied various activist-based subjects collectively referred to as ‘grievance studies’, so-called because they rest on a priori assumptions about power and oppression. Whether these disciplines push students towards the Left, or if it is just attending university that has this effect, people are coming out of university far more politically agitated.

This has been bubbling up for years — and then along came the coronavirus, throwing millions of people out of work, many from exactly the sort of sections most likely to cause trouble. And what makes it slightly spooky is that a few years back Turchin predicted that there would be a violent flashpoint in American politics — in 2020.

Battle of Presidents Park

Rachel Cooper, tripsavvy, What to see in Lafayette Park, Washington D.C.

Lafayette Park, also known as Presidents Park or Lafayette Square, is a seven-acre public park located across from the White House in Washington, D.C. The green space provides an arena for public protests, ranger programs, and special events.

When the park, as Lafayette Square, was first established it was to be used to enhance the grounds of the White House. Through the years it is said it has been used as a race track, a graveyard, a zoo, and a camp for soldiers during the War of 1812.

The park, bounded by Jackson Place on the west, Madison Place on the east, and Pennsylvania Avenue, is now a popular site for those who want to take photographs of the White House. The park is home to five statues, four honoring foreign Revolutionary War heroes and one of President Andrew Jackson.

Battle of Lafayette Park Sunday May 31, 2020

But Lafayette Park was attacked and vandalized Sunday night, as reported by the Washington Blade Damage, looting as D.C. protesters ignore curfew.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Similar to the D.C. protests that unfolded on Friday, May 29, and Saturday, May 30, the Sunday protests joined by about 1,000 people began peacefully at the site of the White House and Lafayette Park earlier in the day.

But shortly after nightfall when police blocked access to the White House area the protesters scattered into smaller groups and marched through downtown streets. Some of them wielded metal baseball bats to smash windows and glass doors of stores and office buildings, according to media reports.

Some of those engaging in vandalism, whom D.C. police and Bowser have said appear to be radical agitators who do not share the goals of protesting the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, set fires inside the buildings they broke into.

Among the buildings partially damaged by fire was the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church located across the street from Lafayette Park near the White House known as the Church of the Presidents. Also set on fire was the lobby of the AFL-CIO building two blocks away at 815 16th Street, N.W.

According to local TV news reports, it took D.C. police and fire department personnel close to an hour to arrive on the scene to clear away protesters and begin putting out the fires at the church and the AFL-CIO building.

In an announcement on Sunday night, D.C. police released the names of 18 people they said police arrested for felony rioting related acts mostly on Saturday, May 30. TV news reporters on the scene of the disturbances on Sunday night reported additional arrests, but police didn’t immediately disclose the number of arrests on Sunday and early Monday morning.

Battle of Lafayette Park Monday June 1, 2020

On the green of Lafayette Park is St. John’s Episcopal Church, a short walk away. Often called the “Church of Presidents,” the building sustained damage in a fire after protests on Saturday night. Every president since Madison has at least visited the church, though the last two who regularly attended services there were George H.W. Bush and Franklin Roosevelt. On the morning of his 2017 inauguration, Trump attended the service at St. John, where a pastor who campaigned for him delivered a sermon centered on how strong leaders don’t get distracted.

Just after 10 p.m. on Sunday, someone set a fire in the basement of the parish hall, which firefighters quickly extinguished, The Washington Post reported. The fire was contained to a nursery room, although there was smoke and water damage to other areas of the basement, according to the Rev. Rob Fisher, the church’s rector.

Fisher told Episcopal News Service that the nursery room is “completely destroyed,” but it could have been much worse. Nobody was hurt and none of the church’s “irreplaceable” historical items were damaged, he said in an interview.

President Donald Trump addressed the nation from the Rose Garden around 6:30 p.m., where he said he was taking “swift and decisive” action and dispatching “thousands and thousands” of military personnel and law enforcement.

As Trump spoke, explosions could be heard in the background.

“What happened in the city last night was a total disgrace,” Trump said, later adding “Our 7 o’clock curfew will be strictly enforced. Those who threaten innocent life and property will be arrested, detained, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

As law enforcement cleared out the area around the White House, Trump walked across the street after his address for a photo op at St. John’s Episcopal Church, which briefly suffered a fire Sunday night. Every president since James Madison has visited the more than 200-year-old church.

Battle of Lafayette Park Tuesday June 2, 2020

D.C. Protests Remain Markedly Peaceful After Days Of Intense Clashes reports DCist. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

By Tuesday night, nearly every conceivable law enforcement agency was stationed in the District. Images of the National Guard positioned on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and looming over protesters below seemed destined to become iconic. At the start of the night, people handed out goggles and helmets to fellow protesters.The crowd near the White House appeared to grow to its biggest size in five consecutive nights of large demonstrations in the District.

Yet as the District girded for a fifth night of violent clashes, there was instead overwhelming calm.

Protesters looped throughout the city — walking up to U Street, passing under the Convention Center, marching through Dupont Circle, chanting on K Street, passing long lines of voters at polling stations, returning to the area around the White House — for hours after the District’s 7 p.m. curfew went into effect. Demonstrators were trailed at times by Metropolitan Police Department officers on bicycles, but law enforcement didn’t try to stop the peaceful demonstrations.

What Do We Learn from the Battle of Lafayette Park?

Mollie Hemingway explains at The Federalist Media Falsely Claimed Violent Riots Were Peaceful And That Tear Gas Was Used Against Rioters.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Following days of violent riots and looting in cities across the country, Washington, D.C., announced a 7 p.m. curfew on Monday night. About the same time, President Donald Trump addressed the nation from the Rose Garden. Afterward, he walked through Lafayette Park to St. John’s Episcopal Church, which rioters had set on fire the night before. Standing before the church sign, which reads “All are welcome,” President Trump, who previously said he’d be paying his respects to a very special place, held up a Bible.

The speech announcing the country would return to rule of law and protection of civil liberties, the walk through a park that the night before had been given over to rioters, and the visit to the vandalized historic church where every president has worshiped since James Madison, were reassuring to many in the country.

For the media, however, these actions were further proof that Orange Man Bad is literally the worst, restoring rule of law is criminal, and standing in front of a church holding a Bible is an assault on the American conscience. They focused on how the Park Police had cleared the area ahead of the city-wide curfew declared by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Protesters sit atop structure in Lafayette Park, facing police defying curfew.

After thousands of false tweets, print stories, and broadcast stories to the contrary, local journalist Neal Augenstein of WTOP reported that a Park Police source said “tear gas was never used — instead smoke canisters were deployed, which don’t have an uncomfortable irritant in them.” Further, the source said the crowd was dispersed because of projectiles being thrown by the “peaceful protesters” at the Park Police and because “peaceful protesters” had climbed on top of a structure in Lafayette Park that had been burned the prior night.  Statement by United States Park Police acting Chief Gregory T. Monahan:

On Monday, June 1, the USPP worked with the United States Secret Service to have temporary fencing installed inside Lafayette Park. At approximately 6:33 pm, violent protestors on H Street NW began throwing projectiles including bricks, frozen water bottles and caustic liquids. The protestors also climbed onto a historic building at the north end of Lafayette Park that was destroyed by arson days prior. Intelligence had revealed calls for violence against the police, and officers found caches of glass bottles, baseball bats and metal poles hidden along the street.

To curtail the violence that was underway, the USPP, following established policy, issued three warnings over a loudspeaker to alert demonstrators on H Street to evacuate the area. Horse mounted patrol, Civil Disturbance Units and additional personnel were used to clear the area. As many of the protestors became more combative, continued to throw projectiles, and attempted to grab officers’ weapons, officers then employed the use of smoke canisters and pepper balls. No tear gas was used by USPP officers or other assisting law enforcement partners to close the area at Lafayette Park. Subsequently, the fence was installed.

Mollie provides numerous examples of media false statements about these events, concluding with this: NPR hit a trifecta by falsely reporting about tear gas, falsely reporting about peaceful protesting, and as a bonus downplaying the arson against the church:

The entire narrative the media glommed onto in lockstep was that Trump was a monster who tear-gassed peaceful protesters to do something meaningless. None of that was true. But it took a day of reporting to get the truth out, long after the lie took hold.

At times it seems as if there is nothing that many in the media won’t lie about to accomplish their political goals.

In related news, despite or perhaps because of the media hysteria, polls show overwhelming majorities of Americans support the use of the National Guard and the military to bring peace to the cities the media claim aren’t being targeted by violent riots.

Comment:  Is anyone confused about the Battle of Lafayette Park?  The tragic death in Minneapolis was only the pretext for taking the “Resistance” to a new level.  After the Mueller Russian Hoax collapse and the stupid House Impeachment farce, the next stage is for social justice warriors to take the public square away from anyone who disagrees.  Make no mistake, this was a militant occupation to deny Trump access to the “Presidents Park” and the “Presidents Church.”  Give leftist control freaks an inch, and they will take miles, which Trump sees clearly, and so should we all.  Meanwhile the media stirs up trouble and remains lost in their bubble.

 

2020 Dems: Hatred Destroys from Within

Wise advice for 2020 Dems.  If only they can stop hating and mend their ways.

Jonathan F. Keiler elaborates at the American Thinker After Three Years of Hate, the Dems Have Lost It Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Writing in the Atlantic (“This is No Way to Beat Trump”) Thomas Nichols, a self-described former Republican and #NeverTrumper, castigates Democrats for their failure to take down President Trump, in light of the disorganized Iowa Caucus and the party’s unimpressive stable of candidates. In the piece, Nichols pretends to dispense hard-headed political advice. In fact, the article reveals why he and the Democrats he wants to help are floundering.

Their perception of the world is so distorted by manic dislike of President Trump that they have ceased to act as a responsible political party which can offer a reasonable alternative.

The very premise of Nichols’ case, and by extension that of the Democrat party and all its putative candidates, is that beating Trump must be their principal goal, eclipsing all other concerns. Nichols thinks the Democrats are not attempting to do this — which is preposterous. But more interestingly having come to this false conclusion, he has no prescription for exactly how to beat Trump, only that it must be done.

Of course, beating Trump has been the monomania of the Democrats (and #NeverTrumpers) for over three years. It’s the first and last thing out of all the candidates’ mouths when they speak, and one of the few things they agree upon.

The Washington Post recently ran a typical article highlighting the malady entitled “’Tempted to despair’: Trump’s resilience causes Democrats to sound the alarm.” Huh? Are we talking about a presidential campaign or a soap opera? It’s quite as if Trump were ill, the Dems suffering heirs hoping he’ll just die — which is probably not far from the truth.

Manias in general are not good things. Occasionally a smart or extremely lucky maniac reaches his objective. Much more often mania sidetracks its victim by severely narrowing his focus, depriving him of necessary context and a broader and more realistic picture of reality.

That’s what’s happened to the Democrats. The Iowa caucus disaster is one symptom. The failed impeachment of Trump another. The stable of unstable Democrat candidates yet another.

And it’s pretty easy to see in the modern Democrat party the same dynamic taking hold, albeit before they have actually achieved total political control. Trump in almost every respect is the Dems’ Emmanuel Goldstein, a subject of such mindless animus and vituperation that the party can’t see the forest for the trees. It’s been three years of hate, and way more than two minutes a day.

Modern therapeutic psychology would suggest an intervention, and in the United States such a role has often been played by the press. Historically, when a party or politician went off the deep end, there was a vibrant press to point it out, mock it, and return things to semblance of rationality. That has not been the case in America for a generation or two now, with the mainstream media having lost most all semblance of objectivity to become the Democrats’ great enabler. And indeed, the mandarins of the modern media are, if anything, even more Trump-afflicted than the party that they supposedly cover.

Very much like a schizophrenic, neither the Dems nor the media can recognize the pervasive objective truth about American today — things are going pretty well.

The economy is doing great, unemployment is low, and the markets are confident. We are ending a China trade war with some gains. Borders are more secure. Unemployment is at historic lows. With the exception of small military commitments to Afghanistan and Syria, we are at peace. We are energy self-sufficient, and even climate-change doomsayers must now admit things are not so bad.

The Democrats have a lot of problems. But their biggest one is their grip on reality. As long as that’s the case, whoever they pick in 2020 is not likely to be any more successful than Emmanuel Goldstein.

Things You Don’t Hear from Slanted Media

Cora Mandy explains at Real Politics Impeachment Crusade Blinds Media to Trump’s Accomplishments. Excerpts in italics with my bolds and images.

For Americans across the country, Democrats’ and the media’s fixation on impeachment has engulfed the news the public has consumed for nearly four months. Democrats have worked tirelessly to convince the public that President Trump committed an impeachable offense. Unfortunately for them, these attempts have proved to be futile. Recent polling has shown a drop in support for impeachment. Where our country was previously evenly divided, Americans now oppose impeachment 50%-47% and Trump’s job approval rating has remained steady.

Americans see beyond spin and media narratives, but ascertaining what has been going on in Washington behind the sea of impeachment headlines can be difficult. A new Media Research Center analysis found that from the time that Democrats’ impeachment push began on Sept. 24, the evening newscasts on CNN, ABC, and NBC gave the president’s historic economy and trade developments just nine minutes of coverage, combined, out of 1,098 total minutes. Conversely, impeachment efforts and Ukraine received 849 minutes of airtime. That means news on Trump’s economy made up far less than 1% of the coverage.

Devoid of fair and balanced news sources, Americans do not realize just how much President Trump and his administration have accomplished in the face of the Democrats’ baseless impeachment efforts.

For starters, it was recently announced that nation’s average unemployment rate since Trump took office is the lowest recorded in history: 3.9%. The administration has created opportunities for Americans to rejoin the workforce, and as result we have seen a decline of over 7 million Americans no longer dependent on food stamps.

President Trump continues to break his own records: As of January 2020, more than 158,000,000 Americans are employed, the stock market is reaching new highs, and consumer confidence is at the highest in decades.

It’s impossible to refute the strength of the Trump economy. The media knows this and that is why coverage of it is lackluster; but that’s not the only victory by the administration that has been brushed over in the last few months.

Last December, President Trump signed The Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act. This bill appropriates funding for rape kit testing, DNA training programs, and the sexual assault forensic grant program. The backlog of rape kits in this country soars well over the tens of thousands. The funds granted in this bill ensure that these kits can be tested before the statues of limitations run out and that victims have a better chance of seeing justice.

President Trump took measures in November of 2019 to outlaw animal cruelty and make the prosecution of offenders easier when he signed The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act into law. This measure provides more comprehensive protections for animals against abuse, torture, and the making or sharing of videos that depict animal abuse. A prior loophole made it difficult to prosecute cruelty cases that crossed multiple jurisdictions, but PACT eliminates this.

President Trump also is keeping America’s youth safer. The development of e-cigarettes and vaping saw a resurgence of tobacco use among children and teens, with one in four high school seniors admitting to vaping. Vaping-related illnesses such as lung disease are on the rise, affecting thousands of Americans. In December of 2019, the administration took decisive action to prevent American children’s accessibility to these life-threatening products by raising the legal age to purchase tobacco to 21.

The Trump administration is keeping its promise to take care of our military and veterans and to secure our nation’s border. The spending deal passed in December delivered a 3.1% pay raise to military personnel, the largest pay increase in over a decade. Further, it provided over $1 billion in funding to continue wall construction on our southern border.

The spending bill also included paid family leave for federal workers, a measure that will bring the American government into the 21st century. Previously, the United States was one of just two countries out of 170 that did not provide financial compensation during family leave. The Trump administration is leading by example, encouraging private sector companies to follow in its footsteps to make paid family leave a possibility for all Americans.

The media will be in hysterics once more this week as Senate lawmakers set the rules and procedures for the impeachment hearings. While Democrats continue on their unfounded quest to remove a duly-elected president from office, Donald Trump will be busy delivering real results for the American people, despite what you may hear in the media.

Looking forward to 2020

 

California’s Year: Veering Left from Left Lane

Steve Greenhut writes at Spectator California’s Year in Review: Missing Jerry Brown Already. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

A new progressive administration and Democratic legislative super-duper majorities put California on a collision course with reality.

Basically, the Brown era signaled the last years of traditional liberal governance. The new governor, former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, comes out of the party’s progressive wing. Democrats have long controlled the Capitol, but an anti-Trump backlash hastened the state GOP’s long-coming meltdown. A couple of GOP lawmakers even recently jumped ship. That means no check on Democrats, which makes this shift even more noteworthy.

Looking back at 2019, we get a vision of the future — and there’s reason for concern.

Newsom was stuck dealing with raging wildfires and a bankrupt public utility that began shutting down parts of the electrical grid to prevent even more fires. This brought back shades of Gray Davis, who in 2003 was recalled by voters (and replaced by nominally Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger) in the midst of rolling blackouts caused by a failed electricity deregulation plan. That’s not just because of the obvious electricity parallels, but because Newsom’s tepid response was reminiscent of the deer-in-the-headlights Davis.

The wildfire/electricity mess is related to liability rules, an overly bureaucratic regulatory climate, and an environmental approach to forest lands that limited brush clearance. None of these matters could quickly be fixed by any governor — even one who had a clue what to do about it. But the real trouble signs in 2019 have come from the governor’s decision to sign measures that likely would have sent his predecessor reaching for the veto pen.

I’ve covered the worst new law for The American Spectator. This was Assembly Bill 5, which banned many companies from using contractors as their workforce. It epitomizes the new, more aggressive strain of progressivism that isn’t content creating new programs and raising taxes — but is willing to destroy large segments of the private economy. The goal seems to be punishing “evil” businesses. If people’s lives are destroyed in the process, so be it.

The targets of the law were Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and other ride-sharing and delivery companies whose business model is based on using independent contractors as drivers. The union-backed legislation is designed to force these companies (lawmakers exempted most other businesses from its rules, including attorneys, physicians, real-estate agents, and insurance sales people) to hire their drivers as permanent employees and pay them benefits.

Instead, we’re seeing predictable results. Freelance writers, photographers, and artists were not exempted from the measure — and the layoff notices have been coming to these workers as the year’s end approaches. The newly unemployed shouldn’t worry, though. The law’s sponsor, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, said in a tweet (as quoted by Reason): “These were never good jobs. No one has ever suggested that, even freelancers.”

That’s progressivism reduced to one short tweet. These folks know what’s best for us and can determine what jobs are good and which ones shouldn’t exist.

When it comes to drivers, hundreds of thousands of jobs could be at risk, according to a recent economic study. Companies that hire drivers have filed suit and are gathering signatures for an initiative that would exempt these workers, but it’s anybody’s guess how this madness might shake out.

Newsom also signed a bill imposing statewide rent control, even though it’s an unquestionable fact that rent control depresses housing supply. Even California officials are starting to realize that the state’s sky-high housing prices are the result of regulations that squelch housing construction. Yet there’s been no legislative progress in addressing those state-imposed restrictions, only a push for more subsidized housing and passage of the one sure-fire way to quickly make the situation worse.

The governor also signed a package of laws that will slowly strangle the charter-school industry (even though both sides depicted it as a compromise), which is the state’s main educational bright spot. The new Legislature is targeting the gig economy, the housing industry, and the schools. Quite obviously, the next target for their destruction is healthcare. Look out for coming plans for single payer.

As Californians, we’re used to the ridiculous spending plans and the state’s refusal to deal with problems (homelessness, soaring pension liabilities, tax rates that are driving businesses out of state) that are of its own making. That’s been standard fare, and certainly was true during the Brown administration. But we’re heading into a brave new world. I predicted we’d be pining for the days of Jerry Brown.

Comedy of Impeachment Errors

Adam Mill writes at American Greatness on Senator McConnell explaining the failings.McConnell Crushed Impeachment in One 30-minute Speech.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and images.

In approximately half an hour, Senator McConnell did what so many Democrats have claimed to do over these last several weeks: He meticulously applied the Constitution and historical precedent to the facts at hand and to the articles of impeachment the House passed on Wednesday.

Let’s start with the fact that Washington Democrats made up their minds to impeach President Trump since even before he was inaugurated. Here’s a reporter in April of 2016—April of 2016! “Donald Trump isn’t even the Republican nominee yet. But impeachment is already on the lips of pundits, newspaper editorials, constitutional scholars, and even a few members of Congress.”

Justifications for impeachment included rude behavior to professional athletes and reporters, changing Obama’s policy on transgender in the military. “A few months ago,” McConnell added, “Democrats’ three-year-long impeachment in search of articles found its way to the subject of Ukraine. House Democrats then embarked on the most rushed, least-thorough impeachment inquiry in modern history.”

McConnell then contrasts the “Get Trump” effort to the “mountains of evidence” gathered in both the Nixon and Clinton processes. The Nixon impeachment process required 14-months of hearings in addition to a special prosecutor. The Clinton impeachment followed years of an independent counsel investigation.

“House Democrats’ rushed and rigged process produced two articles of impeachment [which] are fundamentally unlike any articles that any prior House of Representatives have ever found,” McConnell explained. Article I involves the “timing of aid to Ukraine.” But the articles do not even purport to allege an actual crime. “Instead, they deploy the vague phrase ‘abuse of power’ to impugn the president’s actions in a general and indeterminate way.”

The Democrats might not be required to allege a crime, but McConnell warned, “history matters and precedent matters. And there were important reasons why every previous House of Representatives in American history restrained itself . . . from crossing the Rubicon.”

The vagueness of the “abuse of power” article is effectively a “mal-administration” charge rejected by the Constitution’s Framers because it would so easily be used to attack presidents over policy differences. If the Democrats are successful, all presidents henceforward will be impeached whenever the opposition party achieves power in the House.

“So there were powerful reasons why every House of Representatives for 230 years . . . required presidential impeachment to revolve around clear, recognizable crimes,” McConnell said. “That 230-year tradition died last night.”

Of the second article of impeachment, “Obstruction of Congress,” McConnell said, “What it really does is impeach the president for asserting executive privilege . . . a two-century-old constitutional tradition.” Presidents beginning with Washington have invoked it and courts repeatedly have recognized it. The House requested extraordinarily sensitive information—exactly the type of requests against which presidents from both parties have asserted privilege.

“It’s not a constitutional crisis for a House to want more information than a president wants to give up,” McConnell said. “That’s not a constitutional crisis! It’s a routine occurrence. Separation of powers is messy—by design. Here’s what should have happened . . . either the president and Congress negotiate a settlement or the third branch of government, the judiciary, addresses the dispute between the other two.”

That’s what happened in both the Nixon and Clinton impeachment inquiries. In both instances, the House went to court to resolve the disputes.

Following this process, “takes time, it’s inconvenient,” the majority leader said. “That’s actually the point. Due process is not meant to maximize the convenience of the prosecutor. It’s meant to protect the accused.”

McConnell shot down the suggestion that the Senate should force the president to give up more information to facilitate the trial. As I recently wrote (perhaps McConnell is a reader), impeachment means “ready for trial.” It’s not the proper role of the Senate to investigate and impeach the president. “Nobody made Chairman Schiff do this,” McConnell said of Schiff’s decision to forego court assistance to overcome the president’s lack of cooperation with the probe. “In Nixon, the courts were allowed to do their work. In Clinton, the courts were allowed to do their work.”

But these House Democrats, he added, “decided that due process is too much work.”

McConnell further challenged House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s attempt to bully the executive branch out of asserting executive privilege. He quoted Schiff saying, “any action that forces us to litigate . . . will be considered further evidence of obstruction of justice.”

What the Democrats are trying to say, in effect, is that if the president asserts his constitutional rights, it’s just that much more evidence that he’s guilty.

McConnell further explained how the House impeachment effort harms separation of powers by attempting to make the president serve at the pleasure of Congress. But the process also infringes upon the Senate as an independent body.

The House can follow whatever process it chooses for impeachment. But it is now attempting to dictate how the Senate discharges its duties. The House has made a “demand that this body redo House Democrats’ homework for them. That the Senate should supplement Chairman Schiff’s work to make it more persuasive.” Further, the House could effectively swamp the Senate whenever it wants by passing flimsy impeachment articles to force a Senate trial.

Quoting Pelosi’s now-abandoned warnings that impeachment should not be done without an overwhelming and bipartisan case, McConnell said, “by the speaker’s own standard . . . she has failed the country. The case is not compelling, not overwhelming, and as a result not bipartisan.”

The weakness of the Democrats’ case is demonstrated by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s calls to supplement the House’s shoddy work with new Senate-led investigations. And now, McConnell observed, it appears that the House is too afraid to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate where they rightly fear they will lose their case.

“It looks like the prosecutors are getting cold feet in front of the entire country,” McConnell added. “The articles aren’t just unproven, they’re also constitutionally incoherent.” If the Senate blesses either of these articles, “we will invite the impeachment of every future president.”

Pelosi was shell-shocked. Watch her stammer during her own press conference just a few minutes after McConnell concluded his speech. A friendly reporter asked whether the Republicans might accuse the House of playing games by holding onto the impeachment articles too long. Pelosi mumbled something about needing to know Senate trial procedures before she could appoint House managers. It’s a nonsense argument that she can’t even explain.

Trump Strikes Back:

 

The Democrats have their impeachment. There will be no Trump surrender. There’s nothing left for them to do but begin the long retreat.

 

Oxymoron: Democratic Democrats

Rich Lowry explains at NY Post Dems’ impeachment absurdities are making them look like the threat to democracy. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Summary:

The bottom line is that after tsk-tsking Trump for refusing to say in advance that he’d accept the outcome of the 2016 election, Democrats have steadfastly refused to truly accept the 2016 result, allegedly the work of the Russians, and now are signaling they won’t accept next year’s election, either, should they lose again.

With every day that passes, the Democrats risk a growing perception that they themselves are a threat to the 2020 election.

Synopsis:

The Democrats believe that the 2020 election is too important to be left to the voters. It’s obvious that President Trump withheld defense aid to Ukraine to pressure its president to commit to the investigations that he wanted, an improper use of his power that should rightly be the focus of congressional investigation and hearings.

Where the Democrats have gotten tangled up is trying to find a justification that supports the enormous weight of impeaching and removing a president for the first time in our history.

They’ve cycled through different arguments. First, Trump’s offense was said to be a quid pro quo — a phrase cast aside for supposedly being too Latin for the public to ­understand. Then it was bribery, which has lost ground lately, presumably because of the inherent implausibility of the charge.

Now, the emphasis is on Trump’s invitation to the Ukrainians to “meddle” and “interfere” in our elections.

This is posited to be an ongoing threat. Nancy Pelosi said in her statement calling on the House to draft articles of impeachment: “Our democracy is what is at stake. The president leaves us no choice but to act, because he is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit. The president has engaged in abuse of power undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections.”

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said on “Meet the Press” last weekend that Trump has to be impeached “for posing the considerable risk that he poses to the next election.” Asked if he thinks the 2020 election will be on the up-and-up, he said, “I don’t know. The president, based on his past performance, will do everything he can to make it not a fair election.”

The gravamen of this case is that the election is too crucial to allow the incumbent president of the United States, who is leading in key battleground states and has some significant chance of winning, to run. In fact, the integrity of the election is so at risk that the US Senate should keep the public from rendering a judgment on Trump’s first term or deciding between him and, say, his nemesis Joe Biden.

Of course, it’s possible to imagine a circumstance where a president would indeed present such a grave risk to our elections that he’d have to be removed. This is a reason that we have the impeachment process in the first place.

But what’s the real harm that Trump’s foolhardy Ukraine adventure presented?

Let’s say that Ukraine had, in response to Trump pressure, actually announced an investigation into Burisma, a shady company that had in the past been under investigation. What would have happened? Would Joe Biden have been forced from the race? Would his numbers have collapsed in Nevada and South Carolina, his best early states? Would his numbers have changed anywhere?

No, it’s not even clear there would have been any additional domestic political scrutiny of Hunter Biden’s lucrative arrangement with Burisma, an issue that is dogging the former vice president on the campaign trail anyway — because his son’s payday was so clearly inappropriate.

The bottom line is that after tsk-tsking Trump for refusing to say in advance that he’d accept the outcome of the 2016 election, Democrats have steadfastly refused to truly accept the 2016 result, allegedly the work of the Russians, and now are signaling they won’t accept next year’s election, either, should they lose again.

Given their druthers, Trump wouldn’t be an option for the voters. They are rushing their impeachment, in part, because they know that as November 2020 approaches, it becomes steadily less tenable to portray the man who wants to run in an election as the threat to democracy and the people who want to stop him as its champions.

With every day that passes, the Democrats risk a growing perception that they themselves are a threat to the 2020 election.