Monday, July 31, 2017

Forum: What's Your Reaction To the White House Staff Changes?



Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's Question:What's Your Reaction To the White House Staff Changes?

Don Surber:Trump is a CEO. He expects performance. Priebus and Spicer failed. They are gone.

Last year he went through Lewandowski and Manafort before he got the campaign manager he wanted all along: Kellyanne Conway. She was his first choice. She chose a pro-Cruz pac instead. But after the nomination, she agreed to run his campaign.

Kelly earned Trump's trust. Scaramucci got CNN to retract Fake News and fire those responsible. His interview with Ryan Lizza at New Yorker (a staunch Trump hater) was numbingly stupid. We shall see how long he lasts.

This is the entertainment section of the news, the stuff that fills the void of hours on the cable networks while they avoid the news, which is pretty good right now. The economy is expanding, illegal aliens are self-deporting, and ISIS has ebbed.

Remember, we do not know these people personally. We do know their pedigrees. Kelly retired with four stars. A Marine. Scaramucci is a millionaire investment banker. So they are men of accomplishment. We shall see how this works out.

Fausta: How many people outside of Washington D.C. and the punditry actually notice WH staff changes?

Rob Miller: Some of you may recall that I predicted that Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus would end up replaced some time ago.

In Spicer's case, from his very first presser, it was obvious that he lacked the poise and confidence to deal effectively with the sort of rabid hyenas that inhabit the press corps. I'm actually amazed he lasted this long.

Priebus's case is somewhat different. As head of the RNC, he worked hard to get Trump elected once he was the nominee, just as Scott Walker did. On Election night, the president elect made special mention of his efforts and his effectiveness and called him to the stage to be applauded.

And he certainly was effective and successful in that position. Priebus is a highly competent political operative. The position of chief of staff was unfortunately a mismatch. There's a certain attitude prevalent in Wisconsin, Minnesota and a few other states where 'niceness' and civility is prized at all costs. Priebus had this attitude, and a very different one is called for as chief of staff. In that position, the most successful performers need, to varying degrees, the work ethic and attention to detail of Donald Rumsfeld, the realpolitik of Machiavelli, and on occasion, the ruthlessness of Genghis Khan. General Kelly is a lot closer to these attitudes, and is someone who will literally put the fear of G-d into leakers and incompetents. Priebus didn't.

There are some indications also that Priebus might have inadvertently leaked stuff to the hostile press, and reportedly, Priebus was also upset about the firing of his close friend Sean Spicer and a little too dogmatic in showing his displeasure. It's too bad a different job that used his strong points couldn't have been found, although Trump apparently offered him some alternatives.

OK, the new and not so new faces. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has already shown her capability as a WH spokes person. Mike Huckabee is one of my favorite American political figures, and it still annoys me to think what a fine president he would have made if he had gotten the nomination instead of clueless John McCain. There's no question in my mind he would have beaten Obama like a gong, an honest, plain spoken patriot and successful governor versus a serial con artist with no executive experience and a radical, post America mindset..

Sarah's like her dad in that respect, with little tolerance for fools. She'll do fine. Although I have to admit I wish President Trump would offer Milo Yiannopoulos a position if Milo would take the pay cut. Aside from being a superb communicator and easily making mincemeat out of lefty journos at places like PBS and the BBC, the entertainment value would be superb. Just imagining what Milo would do to a pillowcases like CNN's Jim Acosta elicits a wicked chuckle from me.

General Kelly will do quite a bit to help drain the swamp and spread fear over any transgressors. He is one tough, old style Marine. His temporary successor, his deputy Elaine Duke has years of experience in these matters and if she is confirmed after the recess will likely be a capable replacement at Homeland Security. She wouldn't be General Kelly's second in command if she wasn't first class.

And now we come to the new director of WH communications, Anthony Sacramucci. Maybe it's because I grew up in a house where both my parents (Z'L) indulged in very direct BrooklynSpeak, but the profanity doesn't bother me particularly and having a no-nonsense Sicilian in a position where he can directly affect both messaging and the terrorizing of potential leakers and malcontents could be a very astute move, given the circumstances. Personally, I find statements like "Washington is full of backstabbers, I'm more of a front stabber" to be highly entertaining, and maybe exactly the mindset that's called for. I also have a feeling that the Ryan Lizza interview was deliberately outre'. There's nothing more effective then convincing people to underestimate you as a cartoon character and a fool...after which they can be ambushed effectively when they least expect it.

Speaking of tactics and slightly off topic, I think the entire Trump-Sessions kerfluffle is manufactured as well. Jeff Sessions was one of Trump's earliest supporters, and the president is known for loyalty downward as well as prizing loyalty upwards.

Consider this:

When Jeff Sessions was first being confirmed, he was vilified as a racist almost as bad as Hitler, an odd description for the man who destroyed the KKK in his home state of Alabama. He was labeled a bigot, a crook, you name it. Now, because Trump has given AG Sessions criticism, the media is calling Jeff Sessions honest, incorruptible, highly principled and by golly, a real nice guy...just ask his ex-playmates in the Senate. And it's just sickening, sickening to see that nasty Trump bullying him, isn't it?

Meanwhile, under the wire, AG Sessions is launching his own DOJ investigation into the leakers as well as other matters concerning the Clintons and Loretta Lynch.Imagine the hilarity,boys and girls, when the Left tries to reverse itself and attack Sessions once the bullet hits the bone of these items.

Mike McDaniel: My reaction? “Yearrrrggghhh!” No? How about this one: “meh.” Yes. I like that one, and I suspect normal Americans do too.

So Reince Priebus is out and General John Kelly is in? Yawn. New Yawk hustler Anthony Scaramucci--sounds like a penny ante thug in a gangster movie with a nickname like “Tony da Shiv,” doesn’t it?--said some naughty words in what he may have thought was an off the record--or not--interview with a reporter? Take two aspirin and call somebody who gives a rodent’s posterior.

I keep saying this, and no one listens: Donald Trump is a mover and shaker. He became rich by accomplishing things others couldn’t do, under budget, under schedule, and right. He works hard, each and every day, and expects everyone that works for him to do the same. He expects competence, because absent same, millions are lost, and I his current job, lives are lost. And he is not, for a moment, a feckless, simpering, whining politician afraid of his shadow. He doesn’t mince words; he beats them into submission. Chuck Norris grudgingly respects him. He’s a man, a hunka hunka burnin’ love, he’ll be back, he ain’t got time to bleed, he’s the eye of the tiger, hear him roar, and he doesn’t care what the media thinks.

In other words, President Donald J. Trump is doing what normal Americans elected him to do: drain the swamp, which includes the White House. They know, in the real world, if they’re not doing their job, they expect to be fired. They figure if Mr. Trump fired somebody, he had a good reason, and don’t much care to know the details, though they are waiting, patiently for the moment, to see the prosecutions of basketfuls of the actual deplorables leaking classified and otherwise restricted secrets to the press. Priebus was a leaker? Why didn’t Trump fire him sooner? They’d like to see the press prosecuted for that too, and boy oh boy, do they want to see Sarah Palin own The New York Times. They want, naïve and silly though it may be, the rule of law to apply to everyone, particularly the smug asshats of the Beltway, and Donald Trump seems to be working to do just that.

They’ll forgive a great many mistakes by anyone that accomplishes that. Keep us informed about that progress, and as for the rest—meh.

 Puma By Design: Actually, I am quite pleased that President Trump is cleaning house and while I wish that he had implemented Operation Clean ‘Em Out sooner, six months makes perfect sense.

The President, like any leader needed time to get his bearings on the comings, goings and trappings not only in the White House but the swamp in its entirety. As for the trappings and betrayal, there is plenty.

This, of course, is where now former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus came in. Priebus, a NeverTrumper from day one and that was his first mistake.

Priebus is of the swamp and fooled no one in. After all, Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell supposedly urged the President to choose Priebus as his Chief of Staff.

If by chance, Ryan and McConnell (and even Priebus) thought that there was a debt to be paid (the mindset of an elitist), then okay, it is a wrap. Here we are six months later with both Ryan and McConnell having proved themselves a failure as well, the debt is now paid in full.

Although their presence was solely at the pleasure of the President, Spicer, Priebus and the presence of other swamp dwellers in the White House for a time could not be avoided.

Enter July 2017 and the clock has run out on Priebus and fellow swamp critters whose presence were (and are) a hindrance to the President and his agenda. Their biggest mistake is underestimating the novice in the White House.

The Atlantic writes that “For once, the rumors of Reince Priebus’s demise were not exaggerated.”

The faux outrage is just that. It was obvious as far back as last January (pre-Inauguration) that Priebus’ tenure in the White House and that of the swamp critters he brought along with him was temporary.

The Communist media complex is in contact with Barack Obama and his anti-Trump operatives in the Obama War Room gathering talking points for the day's talking points which consists of making much to do about nothing, sabotage and treason.

I look forward to White House Communications Director, Anthony Scaramucci and former Secretary of Homeland Security Ret. General John Kelly, whose tenure as the President's Chief of Staff starts tomorrow (Monday) to fumigate the place and set things right.

Neutralize (I said “neutralize”) the buggers.


Laura Rambeau Lee :With President Trump coming into the White House lacking political experience it seems inevitable that assembling a harmonious team would be one of his toughest challenges.

Appointing Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff seemed an odd choice initially, but who better to help him become accustomed to the job, to aid in suggesting cabinet appointments, and assist in navigating D.C.? Now that Trump has six months on the job things are shaking out. Priebus is an establishment Republican and the establishment Republicans are not who elected President Trump. It was the conservative wing of the Republican Party along with Democrat and Independent voters disenchanted with the direction our country is heading.

If President Trump is going to keep his promises to those who elected him he needs like minded people close to him. Reince Priebus served his purpose and it is no shameful thing for him to leave. I hope the appointment of retired General John Kelly as new chief of staff will help tighten things up internally and limit the distractions a hungry media delights in reporting. Kelly did an excellent job at DHS in the short time he was there. Hopefully the chain of command issues will be worked out with him as chief of staff and leakers will be routed out and fired.

Expect more shaking out of the initial cabinet appointees in the weeks to come. Hopefully the changes will be beneficial to the advancement of the agenda the president was elected to implement.


 Well, there it is!

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Why John McCain Should Learn To Keep His Mouth Shut...For His Own Good

 Image result for John McCain Angry and Old

Senator John McCain of Arizona was recently taken ill with a fairly serious form of brain cancer, glioblastoma. There's only a ten percent chance of surviving more than a few years. Ordinarily, as much as I disagree with his politics and dislike his record in office, my normal policy would be to simply wish him luck on his recovery and leave it at that. Those sentiments still apply, but really, John McCain should learn to keep his mouth shut. For his own good.

Senator McCain has always been a sucker for press attention and apparently the 80-year-old wasn't too ill to cooperate with the drive by media by hitting out at President Trump. It's particular pernicious since he was personally involved in the matter at hand, albeit in a ludicrous way.

Today, President Trump formally ended a CIA program started by President Barack Hussein Obama
in 2013. It was a covert operation that by passed Congress to arm, train and support supposed moderate Syrian rebels in what was then called the Free Syrian Army against Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.

McCain went nuts over this. After calling out the president in terms the usual suspects in the media just ate up, McCain said "If these reports are true, the administration is playing right into the hands of Vladimir Putin."

That right in the hands bit is particularly funny coming from McCain, but first a little background.

The Free Syrian Army were never 'moderate.' The movement was filled with Salafists, Islamists and jihadis of the most radical persuasion. One of the main components was al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusrah, an officially designated terrorist group. Other elements were part of the the Muslim Brotherhood.

The CIA operation also involved collusion with Qatar and President Obama's BFF, Turkey's Tayyip Erdoğan. There was  a documentary made by PBS ( hardly a right wing, anti-Obama platform) entitled " Syria: Arming the Rebels" that actually showed jihadis training, holding up U.S. weapons and supplies and describe their journey from the Syrian battlefield to meet with their American handlers in Turkey and then being shipped to Qatar. Once there, they're instructed in sophisticated combat techniques, including one course on “how to finish off soldiers still alive after an ambush.”

As PBS noted "it appears the Obama administration is allowing select groups of rebels to receive US-made anti-tank missiles."

Those 'select groups' became ISIS, and the Obama Administration spent $287 million equipping and training them before congress found out, after which Obama's Secretary of State John Kerry asked Congress for an additional half a billion dollars to essentially fund what became ISIS. Now you know how ISIS got so strong so fast. You see, ISIS started in Syria, not Iraq, with the Free Syrian Army.Iraq came later.

One of the Senators trying to push increased funding for them was none other than John McCain. In one unintentionally hilarious episode McCain met with some of the leaders of those 'moderate rebels.'

 Image result for John McCain shaking hands with al-Qaeda in Syria

Let's see, left to right we have Abu Mosa, al-Qaeda operative and later ISIS press officer; Peeking over Mosa's shoulder in ISIS Calipha Abu Baker al-Baghdadi; McCain; 'General' Salim Idris, who headed up a small window dressing organization called the Syrian Military Council that had nothing to do with the Free Syrian Army or any real military action;  Mohammed Noor, a member of al-Nusrah and ISIS officer who kidnapped three hostages who were later beheaded in ISIS videos,;and Malik Massouwi, another al-Nusrah member and ISIS commander. So yes, the Obama Administration helped create and fund ISIS.

McCain went to Turkey and slipped just over the border to the Syrian border town of Bab-al-Salam to press the flesh with his pals.

Later on, having built up one terrorist army and seen it go out of control and become ISIS, President Obama found another group of 'moderates' to support along with Qatar and Turkey, Jaish-al-Fatah, the Army of Conquest.

 

So, who are these guys in Jaish-al-Fatah, the new moderates in Syria? Why, the two main components are Ahrar ash-Sham, an officially designated terrorist group and our old friends the al-Qaeda offshoot al-Nusrah, of course. These are the guys Obama (and yes, Senator McCain) screamed bloody murder about Putin targeting with air strikes.

Considering that they were hunkered down right next to Lebanon's border in large chunks of Idlib province including the provincial capitol, Putin targeting them certainly made sense strategically.

Trump finally pulling the plug on these jihadis also certainly made sense.And you can't call it aiding and abetting terrorism, a federal crime some other people I could mention could plausibly be charged with.

One group of real moderates Trump has been backing lately with great success is the Kurds. Under Obama's reign, the Kurds got just enough support to keep them going, but President Trump has increased support for the Kurds and their heroic Persh Mergah quite a bit. And as WAPO columnist David Ignatius had to sorrowfully admit, the Kurds cheer wildly whenever our president's name is mentioned. They know they finally have a real friend in the White House. And Ignatius also had a few things to say about our president's decisiveness. So much for Senator McCain's nonsense about 'no ISIS strategy:



So Senator McCain, for obvious reasons ought to learn for once to keep his mouth shut.

I wish him a full recovery and a nice retirement from public life. Maybe there's a savings and loan he can do commercials for on TV, just so he could enjoy a nice buzz from being on camera. In Spanish. I'm certain he could work out something with Univision, his chief donor.






Sweden Faces The Abyss; National Police Chief Begs For Help

 

Sweden's National Police Commissioner, Dan Eliasson, recently spoke on national television and shocked his fellow Swedes by pleading for assistance. “Help us, help us!,” he said, while warning that Swedish police forces no longer can uphold the law and therefore must ask all "good powers" in the country to support them. Sweden faces the abyss of lawlessness and perhaps even a defacto civil war.

Commissioner Eliasson's remarks reflect a shocking change for the worse in what used to be one of Europe's most peaceful and law abiding countries.

A leaked report concluded that the number of “no-go zones”) in Sweden now totals 61, up from 55 in just one year’s time. This increase represents not only the total number, but also the geographical size of these areas. The Swedish authorities themselves refer to these areas as utenforskap, which roughly translates as 'excluded areas.' What it amounts to is that Muslim gangs are carving out territory for themselves where they're the ones in control, not the Swedish authorities.

 Image result for Muslim no go areas in Sweden

Police chief Lars Alversjø says that, “There is lawlessness in parts of Stockholm now.” He also said, “The legal system, which is a pillar in every democratic society, is collapsing in Sweden.”

One interesting sign of this is a shocking rise of female genital mutilation (FGM), unheard of in Sweden until recently. A new report partly written by SVT, the Swedish state media, reported that at least 150,000 women in Sweden have experienced genital mutilation. This procedure can involve partial or complete removal of the clitoris (i.e., clitoridectomy, clitorectomy or infibulation) plus excision of the labia as well. All too often, this operation is performed on pre teen girls as young as 4 or 5 years old by people who are not licensed medial practitioners in unsterile conditions, and without anesthesia. The actual numbers of women living in Sweden who have experienced FGM may be far higher.

In 2015, there was a report that something like "only” 38,000 women had experienced genital mutilation. The new report shows how this has skyrocketed, even though it is illegal in Sweden.

Sexual assaults have increased as well. New data from Sweden’s national bureau for statistics, BRÅ says that 3,430 rapes was reported the first six months of 2017, up 14 percent compared to the previous half-year. In all, 9,680 sexual crimes was committed from January to June. According to a BRÅ report from 2013,only 23 percent of sexual crimes in Sweden are reported, which means that we can extrpolate the real number of sexual crimes the last six months in Sweden amounts to around 42,000.

 Related image

According to statistics,92 percent of all severe rapes (violent rapes) are committed by migrants and refugees. 100 percent of all attack rapes (where victim and attacker had no previous contact) are committed by that same group. The countries of origin for the refugees who committed those rapes, in order of the number of perpetrators are Afghanistan, Somalia, Eritrea, Syria, Gambia, Iran, Palestine, and Kosovo. Migrants and refugees from Afghanistan are79 times more likely to commit rape than Swedes.

Another indication of how badly things are going are the efforts by Sweden's Left wing government to hide them. Being critical of Islam, the Swedish government's refugee policies or how individual members of the government are handling this crisis can get you a hefty fine, or in some cases even a jail sentence...or both.

But things are progressing to th epoint where is getting harder and harder to hide what's going on.

Magnus Ranstorp is a researcher into terrorism and radicalization at the Swedish National Defense College.  Writing about the current situation in Sweden, he noted,  “In the worst areas, extremists have taken over. The whole sense of justice and peace are threatened by the fact that the police is breaking down and it’s only getting worse. Sweden is in a disastrous situation"

 2011 recipient of Sweden’s Order of the Seraphim medal, Johan Patrik Engellau, a research expert regarding destabilized countries, has been working with organizations such as the UN and others that operate in crisis areas.His take oin this is interesting as well, especially in view of thinking of Sweden as a 'crisis area.'

“I’m afraid it is the end for the well-organized, decent, and egalitarian Sweden we have known up to now. Personally, I would not be surprised if a form of civil war occurs. In some places, the civil war has probably already begun.”

 “The government does not seem to understand that it has lost control. There is a point where you can no longer stop a situation’s development. I do not know if Sweden has reached this point when it comes to the consequences of immigration, but I fear we are drawing close. If we right here and now take and clear and powerful action – including stopping immigration and the political promotion of multiculturalism – we might with some difficulty be able to save Sweden.”

Difficulty might just be the word for it. Sweden's entire regular military consists of under 10,000 men in all branches of service, army, air force and navy. They have perhaps as many as reserves. The Hemvärnet, a sort of part time home guard has perhaps another 14,000.

There ar4e questions, even from within Sweden as to whether that's enough military to defend Sweden, especially from a homeland insurrection. Lt. Col. Johan Wiktorin (ret.), a leading Swedish security consultant has been quite vocal about saying that Sweden's military is “simply too small to defend its territory.” And remember, while Col. Wiktorin is thinking in terms of Russia, what we're talking about here is controlling an area of 170,000 square miles in a conflict that would include urban warfare, only using Sweden's land forces. And it's also worth remembering that this kind of conflict is one in which a number of Sweden's 'guests' have experience in places like Syria and Iraq.

So Sweden faces the abyss, whether its government wants to acknowledge it or not. What happens next? We'll see.

WoW! Forum: How Would You Rate Trump's Performance After Six Months?



Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's Question:How Would You Rate Trump's Performance After Six Months?


Don Surber: My 401-k -- fully invested in Bogle's S&P 500 stock index fund -- is up 15% since Election Day.

860 regulations are gone.

14 Congressional Review Act resolutions have wiped out other regulations.

Factories are hiring, mines too. And coal miners make $75,000 a year in a state where $100,000 still buys a nice three-bedroom ranch.

Patriot missiles are in Poland.

The Islamic State is out of Iraq -- and Syria.

President Trump made the first direct flight from Riyadh to Israel. The BDS movement is on the wan.
NATO nations are living up to their military commitments. The LNG and oil we will sell to Europe could collapse the Russian economy and end Putin's political career.

Self-deportations are up. ICE is doing its job. Wages are creeping up.

Food stamps are falling, as is the corruption that goes with it. Schools no longer have to serve Michelle Obama Meals that kids dumped in the trash.

The pace however is slow. The judicial appointments need to be speeded up. All the appointments do. And of course, he blew it by allowing a special prosecutor to go fishing for a crime.

The media wastes its time and credibility on Russia. I love it.

Six months in, I am glad I voted for Trump twice last year (in the primary and the general election) and look forward to doing the same in 2020.

He easily gets an A for his efforts and his accomplishments. There is more to do, of course. And there is a lot of bluster. But grownups look upon the media madness with amusement. When you are draining a swamp, expect a big stench and loud roars from dying critters.

Mike McDaniel: Consider Donald J. Trump’s accomplishments: He is not Hillary Clinton. One cannot say that too often: he is not Hillary Clinton. Despite what the Media would have us believe, he is not providing Obamite “flexibility” for Vladimir Putin. He is reversing much of the damage Barack Obama did. He is reversing Obama’s betrayal of Poland by providing missile defense systems to the Poles. He has greatly increased American imports of energy, particularly natural gas, which is absolutely to the detriment of Russia.

He is reversing unnecessary, punitive and costly regulations across the board. He is, slowly but steadily, dismantling the administrative state. He is reversing innumerable Obama executive orders including vast western land grabs.

Neal Gorsuch.

Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord; that was worth it just to see the greenie’s heads explode, as they continue to explode today. He approved the Keystone XK and Dakota Access pipelines.

Economic confidence and optimism is soaring and the number of actual, not paper, jobs created in only six months is nearing a million.

You’d never know it by listening to the Media, but he’s signed more than 40 bills that are actually worthwhile. He’s rebuilding our military.

Illegal immigration, despite constant media lies and Leftist lawfare, has declined in numbers the head of the Border Patrol calls “miraculous.” This not because he has been able to revamp the law, but merely because he is enforcing the law, and everyone, including Mexico, know he’s serious.

Donald Trump can actually speak the words “radical Islamic terrorism,” and has often done so. Not only that, he understands our enemies, and is treating them as enemies. He also is repairing the damage Barack Obama did to our allies, including NATO.

James Mattis.

In just six months, President Trump's accomplishments outstrip those of many president’s entire terms. This despite impediments that would bring others to a complete halt.

Mr. Trump’s ultimate problem is he is an actual leader, not a beltway leader. Witness the Media, the self-imagined elite of the Beltway, politicians and academics as they scream in anguish "Trump isn’t normal!" He’s not doing it right! He’s not doing it the way it should be done, the way they’re used to, their way!

Theirs is the leadership of messaging, the narrative, of the correct, soaring, sophisticated rhetoric, of good and exalted intentions, of the moral--progressive--high ground. It’s the leadership of pay to play, of enriching oneself and one’s friends, and destroying one’s political enemies. It’s the leadership of double crossing the nation’s allies--especially those nasty Jews--and embracing and enriching America’s enemies. It’s the leadership of taking one’s time, doing one thing at a time, and patting oneself on the back for one’s great intellect and morality.

Donald Trump was elected because he’s the opposite of all that. He’s the kind of leader that uses every minute of the day and wishes he had more. His focus is getting the job done, and he juggles multiple tasks at the same time while expecting everyone that works for him to do the same. He says he’ll do it, and he does it, and expects it done yesterday. He’s used to working in the real world, with real people. When he says “the people,” he thinks of individuals, actual people he knows, not some abstract body of slaves laboring for his noble goals.

Trump deals with the world as it is. He doesn’t try to make the world conform to what he thinks it should be. This, alone, is an enormous accomplishment, one many presidents never truly master.

All of this makes the Media, and the Never Trump Republicans absolutely crazy. They can’t understand it, but they know it is absolutely foreign, just as normal Americans find it comforting, because it’s their reality. That’s why they hate him--and us--so much.

If Congressional Republicans ever find a backbone and use the power the Constitution gives them to set the rules of the Congress so they can ignore the Democrats, Mr. Trump will actually be able to repeal and replace Obamacare, truly reform our tax system, reduce the IRS in size and power to what it ought to be, and make our immigration system work to benefit America and Americans.

If he can do that in four years, he’ll be one of our most consequential and accomplished presidents.

To be sure, he’s made errors—Jeff Sessions—but by any honest measure, his accomplishments are many, and in many cases, historic.

 Rob Miller: I think President Trump's first six months have been amazing. He's been faced with what is an organized and well funded attempt to delegitimize his presidency and obstruct him at every turn unlike any in our history, one that includes members of his own party.The fact that he's accomplished as much as he has in view of this is absolutely jaw dropping.

I've written before that what President Trump is doing is an attempt to reverse a quarter century of American decline under three of the worst presidents in our history.  It isn't going to be easy, and he's made a few beginner's errors along the way, but his record speaks for itself.

He has totally remade American foreign policy from the abyss it was in, refreshing alliances with traditional allies estranged by Obama and reassuring the world that  'leadership from behind' is a thing of the past. He also has defied Russia by selling anti-missile systems to the Visograd alliance,  is shipping them natural gas to nullify Russia's energy blackmail, and has revitalized NATO by insisting that the member nations fulfill their commitments of defense spending, although some of them like Germany persist in refusing to do so.

He has cut illegal migration substantially, even with congress shirking it's responsibility to fund the border wall we need for national security. He also has revitalized the efficiency and leadership of ICE and our Border Patrol.

He has made substantial progress in repairing the swamp known as the VA, fulfilling another of his campaign promises.

He has appointed a stellar cabinet, including, yes, Jeff Sessions...who I can't demonize for what amounts to a beginner's  mistake in judgement.

He is defeating ISIS, has finally stopped U.S. funding by the CIA of the al-Qaeda affiliates characterized by Obama and his minions as 'moderate Syrian rebels' and is showing unusual resolution and decisiveness as our Commander in chief. Even WAPO shill David Ignatius had to admit that much. or to quote one of SecDef Mattis's bon mots when pestered by an obnoxious reporter as to the status of the fight against ISIS, simply looked at him sideways and said just four words "We're winning, they're losing."

He has substantially cut stifling federal regulations, far surpassing his original 2 for 1 goal. And the economy? Estimates are that during the first six months of his presidency, the national wealth has increased by over $4 trillion. Admittedly, a lot of this is stock market gains and as I consider the Market overvalued, this could be subject to change. But it is still an undeniable fact, as is the increse of manufacturing and energy related jobs.

Then there's the Keystone pipeline, the dramatic decline of unemployment claims and food stamp users. getting out of the economy killing Paris Accord, and a number of other accomplishments.

The two things that give the Trump administration the impression of 'accomplishing nothing' are simply not something you can blame him for...by which I mean repealing ObamaCare and tax reform. Those missteps are entirely the fault of weak Republican leadership in congress. The House produced a decent replacement bill that would have resulted in an $800 billion tax cut for Americans pauperized by ObamaCare's demands. It wasn't perfect, but it was far better than the nonsense the senate finally came up with after engaging in outright bribery redolent of the sordid smell attending ObamaCare's introduction. Fun fact, not reported by the media...the three female senators from Alaska, West Virginia and Maine who opposed repealing ObamaCare have something in common besides gender. All of them come from predominantly rural states with a huge problem with opiate addiction, something these states have fought by expanding MedicAid to put the cost back on the Feds. There are other members of Congress in love with all those luscious tax dollars ObamaCare provides, just as some of them combat the president's attempt to curtail our problem with illegal migration because their donors love the continued flow of cheap labor, Illegal migration is something that directly contributes to the high cost of health care in America as well as other problems.

President Trump is going to have to find some way of dealing with this element of his own party, and the solution may very well be to form a new one out of the ashes of the GOP. There are definitely Democrats like Joe Manchin, Heidi Hightkamp and the handful of members of the Blue Dog caucus who might cheerfully join a new party like that.

Dave Schuler : Incomplete. There have been no substantial legislative accomplishments during the first six months of his term. The attacks by the media have been so continuous, determined, and mean-spirited at one level it's been amazing that he's done anything other than push back.

Despite it all the country hasn't actually collapsed yet, there are few signs of imminent impeachment, he may accomplish something yet, and amazing as it seems the mood of the country has actually improved so I, in a spirit of generosity, give him an Incomplete.

Laura Rambeau Lee : In spite of the constant negative reporting and Russia obsession from the main stream media, President Trump’s performance has been a positive and welcome change from the past administration. He has signed more than forty bills and almost that many executive orders dealing with many issues. It is reported that he has saved businesses nearly $18 billion a year by reining in oppressive regulations and bureaucratic red tape. He approved the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, rolled back the Clean Power Plan, and horrified the progressive left by withdrawing from the Paris climate accord.

On the foreign policy front he has succeeded in reasserting America’s position as a global leader. His meeting with the nations of the Muslim world in Saudi Arabia, his speech in Poland, and the G20 meetings show he understands and will protect our interests and support our allies in the future. His nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court assures we will have a more conservative leaning court for decades to come.

In short, President Trump is making good on his promises to the American voters who supported and voted for him. The Republican Party must get behind him and the people who elected him or the party might just collapse. Many of us are losing patience with the health care repeal and/or replace debacle and are losing faith in the party. The American voters will have to do their part to drain the swamp by voting out the entrenched career politicians in Congress and those who promised they would repeal Obamacare.

I just hope President Trump can continue to do the job we elected him to do; his new Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci can uncover and eliminate the leaks coming out of the White House; and the witch hunt being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller is quickly wrapped up. We are six months into the administration. It’s time the Democrats get over their disappointment with the results of the election and accept that President Trump is and will be president for at least the next four years. It’s time for them to buck up and do their jobs and stop being obstructionists to everything this administration has been charged by the American voters to do.


Well, there it is!

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

As Obamacare Repeal Dies Again, A Simple Answer

http://brainshavings.com/images/gop-as-lucy.png

The Republican Party proved again today why Pat Caddell was spot on when he referred to them as 'The stupid party' as opposed to the other one which he dubbed 'The corrupt party.' Yes, the GOP majority decided that the ObamaCare repeal dies yet again in the Senate, not that it was anything wonderful itself.

These ignorant swine had 8 years - 8 years - to figure out a decent alternative. After all, it's what they promised us, especially Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan. Give them the majority and they'd repeal it, remember? Instead, the whole process ended up with the same stench as ObamaCare gave out when it was shoved through, with massive bribes, special back door deals and hidden gimmees.

The House bill was actually a little better, because it was a tax cut, not a healthcare bill. The Senate bill was bureaucratic mess. So now that ObamaCare repeal has died once again, everyone's wondering where we go from here.

That, I have no idea about, but here's a simple way to get rid of the whole mess.

There's no reason why the Republican congress couldn't simply vote for an ObamaCare repeal, right?. They did it in 2015, but didn't have enough votes to override a veto. Don't try to fix it, tweak it or rationalize it. Flush it where you usually deposit such waste matter. It's bankrupting the country, keeping millions of Americans from using their healthcare because of the ridiculous co pays and high premiums. Give it a deadline of say, six months and then end it. Burn a copy of the bill on the White House lawn to celebrate. This, by the way is exactly what President Trump wanted to do from day one. After yesterday's fiasco, I was sure the Republicans in the Senate and House can manage to scrape up that much testosterone between them.

Nope! When Mitch McConnell put that forward with a bill for ObamaCare repeal after 7 months of this nonsense, the senate wouldn't buy it. Three senators immediately said they wouldn't even vote for an immediate repeal, Susan Collins (R-Me), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV). They're concerned about the chaos a straight ObamaCare repeal would cause at this point and I agree with them. I'd be very surprised if there weren't others.

You see, McConnell's repeal bill keeps ObamaCare in place for two years! If I were a senator I'd vote against it. It's a cynical ploy to delay things until after the midterms and just what I'd expect out of Mitch McConnell . What he apparently doesn't realize is that people aren't going to play kick the football again. Why vote to re-elect people who lie to you repeatedly and do absolutely nothing they told you they'd do? Not only that, but McConnell is assuming the Republicans keep their majority. That's a big 'if' the way I see it...and then, of course, ObamaCare stays.

Actually, crafting a good replacement for ObamaCare shouldn't be all that difficult. Let's start from scratch with the sensible notion that outside of Medicare the Veteran's Administration and basic consumer oversight, there's very little reason for the federal government to be involved with day to day healthcare insurance. Senator Cruz's simple amendment (which of course didn't pass) was a partial recognition of this principle, that people would be allowed to buy whatever policy they wanted as long as an ObamaCare policy was also available.

Leave it to the states to regulate what insurance is sold in their jurisdictions, although the sensible ideal would be to allow consumers to shop across state lines for the best deals. If medicaid grants from the feds are necessary, give each state a block grant based on their population and let them decide how to apply it, for MedicAid or whatever. Of course, if I were writing this bill, I would tie it to the necessity of states receiving such grants agreeing to cooperate with ICE, thus solving one of the major causes of the high cost of healthcare...our problem with illegal migrants. And if you seriously doubt that a lot of illegal migrants are on medicaid and other social welfare programs, just check out what California's president of the State Senate Kevin De Leon(D-Los Angeles) had to say about the matter.

I'd love to include serious tort reform as well, since predatory lawsuits are the other major factor driving up cost, but try getting a bunch of lawyers in congress to vote for any bill that includes that.

Since a simple ObamaCare repeal isn't an option now, the Republicans had better get their heads together and come up with something simple that works and hopefully gets the feds out of day to day healthcare except for the instances I mentioned above. Otherwise, a lot of them who are up for re-election in 2018 are going to lose their seats.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Why Trump’s Pulling Out Of The Mideast Peace Process As DOA For Now

 Image result for Trump and Abbas in Ramallah

President Trump came into office with the idea of succeeding where other presidents had failed. His goal was to forge a comprehensive Mideast peace process that would both end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and create a bloc between the most powerful Sunni States of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates (and possibly a newly formed, U.S. backed Kurdistan) with Israel to defeat ISIS and al-Qaeda, oppose Iran and reaffirm U.S. leadership in the region. How's that working out? It Isn't, and President Trump may be pulling out of the Mideast peace process, at least the part concerning Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

First, some background.

President Trump's trip to Saudi Arabia and his remarks there made a huge impression on the Arab states that attended the Riyadh summit. They had experienced 8 years of President Bush's amateurism, which only served to unleash Iran by establishing a Shi'ite dictatorship in place of a Sunni counterbalance in Iraq. And even worse, they had experienced President Barack Hussein Obama going even further to appease and empower Iran with billions of dollars and a clear path to nuclear weapons.

http://i2.wp.com/www.jewishpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/iran_cartoon.png?w=477

President Trump's speech did not excuse previous winking at or financing of terrorism by Sunni states like President Obama's Cairo speech. What it was instead was a reset, a clear invitation...stand with America, against Islamic terrorism and against Iran and you can expect our help. Otherwise, you stand alone and incur America's enmity. Implicit in that was a new policy by the Sunni states towards U.S. ally Israel, something that had been gradually happening anyway.

Much of the basis of this was solidified behind closed doors with a large deal for the Arabs to buy U.S. arms among other things. One of them was a deal for the Arabs to significantly alter the notorious Saudi 'peace' ultimatum' to Israel in exchange for some minor land concessions to the Arabs who call themselves 'Palestinians.'

I should also mention that I'm reliably informed that Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu was fully informed about all of this before President Trump went to Riyadh, okayed the arms deal and was on board for certain concessions in exchange for significant quid pro quos from Abbas and the Palestinian authority.

The Sunni states made two significant steps that showed they were taking all this seriously. Of course, with a media concentrating on fake news about phantom links between Russia and the Trumps, you might not of read about them, but I'll present them here.

The first major action was a radical shakeup in the Saudi Royal family.Saudi King Salmon made a surprise decision to elevate his son Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 31, to crown prince and heir to the throne, in place of his cousin Mohammed bin Nayef. King Salman obtained the support of 31 out of 34 members of Saudi Arabia’s Allegiance Council for confirming Prince Muhammad Bin Salman as crown prince as well as deputy prime minister and minister of defense.Bin Salmon is outspokenly in favor of a new US-Arab-Israeli alliance that will confront Iran, as well as social and economic reforms. Like Egypt's al-Sisi, he favors an end to non-relations between Israel and the Arab world. Other changes in Saudi leadership are already occurring, and will likely continue with Prince Mohammed as heir to the throne.

The second was four Arab nations(The Saudis and the Emirates) boycotting Qatar, with the Saudis in the lead, in response to President Trump's demand for strong action to stop the funding of Islamic terrorism. Qatar’s funding of terrorists is notorious. Along with Turkey and President Obama, Qatar provided the financing,arming and training of radical jihadist elements of the Syrian Free Army that created ISIS.

The aggressive Saudi and UAE stance against Qatar’s ruler, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani makes this a whole new ballgame.

The appointment of Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates as crown prince is another indication of change, since he's a contemporary of Crown Prince Mohammed and they have similar views on these subjects.

So, peace between the 'Palestinians' and Israel?

President Trump is on the verge of walking away from it as a bad deal.

Things started badly when President Trump first met with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority's unelected dictator in year 10 of a four year term. Abbas planned to trick President Trump by setting up the route to the conference so that the President would pass directly in front of Yasser Arafat's tomb, where camera men were ready to snap pictures that would be represented as President Trump paying homage to Arafat. Fortunately, the State Department found out about the scheme and changed the route.

In the conference itself, one thing President Trump explicitly asked Abbas for was that the Palestinian Authority stop using international donor funds to pay convicted killers and their families, and to end incitement in it's schools, media and mosques against Jews and Israel. That's why President Trump looked directly at Abbas at their joint press conference and said that "peace cannot flourish where terrorism is funded, encouraged and rewarded."

The PA further infuriated the Trump Administration by having one of its functionaries tell Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that the PA was going to comply with President Trump's wishes on funding terrorism. Once Tillerson conveyed this to the media, the PA embarrassed him publicly by denying it. And of course, incitement and the funding of terrorists and their families still continues.

Even worse was to come. The recent meeting between Mahmoud Abbas and US President Donald Trump's senior advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner on June 25 might have been characterized as 'productive' in some wishful thinking media, but the reality is that it was anything but. The The London-based Arabic-language daily al-Hayat had a much more accurate account.

Kushner again directly challenged Abbas on using international financial aid to pay salaries to terrorists sitting in Israeli jails and their families, as well as on the constant incitement against israel and Jews. And Kushner also mentioned the White House's disappointment that Abbas had failed to condemn the deadly terrorist stabbing in Jerusalem that occurred shortly before the meeting. It took the life of a young female Border Police officer, Hadas Malka. This is the one the BBC reported with the headline, "Three Palestinians killed after deadly stabbing in Jerusalem" *

http://www.conservatives4palin.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Hadas-Malka-Israeli-Border-Police-Master-Sergeant.png

Abbas was outraged and said he would never stop paying convicted killers in Israeli jails, saying it was his 'social responsibility.' Several people outside the room heard them actually yelling at each other,something I was able to confirm.

Since then, Abbas has ramped up incitement against Israel, continued to finance terrorism and attack Israel at the one forum where anyone takes him seriously, at the UN. In violation of the UN Charter, several UN organizations like UNESCO have 'Palestine' as a member even though it isn't a country. Thanks to the anti-Israel resolution Barack Hussein Obama cheerfully instigated and allowed to pass, Israel is supposedly denied access to its major religious sites like the Kotel and the Cave of the Patriarchs, and UNESCO'S World Heritage committee has deemed them 'Palestinian territory' and thus Judenrein in the Nazi sense of the word. Needless to say, in the real world outside Turtle Bay, none of this means anything at all, None of it is legally binding or calls for the UN to enforce it. But it does show that the Palestinian Authority and Abbas have no real interest in peace or in compromise of any kind. That's never been part of their agenda.

Image result for Abbas holding map showing no Israel

Abbas's rejectionism hasn't gone unnoticed by the Sunni Arab states, who need this arrangement a lot more than they need Abbas and Fatah. Mahmoud Abbas's constant shilling for more money from them hasn't been met with open wallets lately, and Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi has abruptly scrapped a series of meeting with Abbas that were scheduled.

And one last bit of evidence on how the Mideast peace process is DOA. Israeli PM Netanyahu (perhaps at President Trump's urging) put together yet another concession to help things along and get the ball rolling. This involved building approval for 14,000 homes in Qalqiliya, a small Arab town on Israel's borders. The new homes would have been in Area C, the part of Judea and Samaria (AKA the West Bank for CNN viewers) under Israeli sovereignty per the Oslo Accords. In other words, a large enclave of hostile Arabs right on Israel's border.

Israeli public reaction was absolutely livid, since building permits for Israelis in the area and elsewhere are rationed, and Israeli residents who lived in Amona and Beit -El are still waiting for the government to keep its promise and build new homes for them to replace the ones they lost when they were forcibly evacuated as part of the 'peace' process.

Netanyahu and Israeli defense minister Avigdor Liberman, who brainstormed this idiocy ended up not even bringing it to a vote in Israel's security council, let alone the Knesset. The behavior of Israel's 'peace partners' pretty much killed this, which is actually a good thing given the track record of the Arabs whom call themselves 'Palestinians'.

The recent murder of two Israeli border police (both Druse, whose funerals were accompanied by thousands of Israelis) is yet another sign of where all this is going. The two policemen were shot in the back by Arab terrorists after Muslim prayers with weapons they smuggled into the al-Aqsa mosque.



Mahmoud Abbas (after prompting by the White House) issued a half hearted condemnation of all violence...followed by a rebroadcasting on the official Fatah Facebook page of a Mahmoud Abbas speech calling for exactly that, violence and rage to take over the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Temple mount and to stop Jews from defiling it - in Arabic, of course.



The Palestinians also erupted in violent demonstrations when the Israeli police attempted to put metal detectors up to stop the murder of Israelis from recurring. This was after a number of weapons were actually found stored in the mosque itself.

The Israeli response to this nonsense was to take Jerusalem off the table entirely.

The Knesset Ministers committee unanimously approved legislation on Sunday approving a bill advanced by Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) leader Naftali Bennett. It mandates a special, 80-MK majority on any future legislation dividing Jerusalem. The Knesset has 120 seats, so an 80 seat vote is virtually an impossibility. The Israelis were never going to redivide Jerusalem anyway. But this makes it official.

Meanwhile Abbas is continuing to stir the pot, visiting leaders like French President Macron and China's President Xi and lobbying them to get involved in the peace process. Abbas understands that President Trump now realizes he has no interest continuing the peace process with Abbas as a factor, something I predicted would happen back when President Trump first started dealing with Mahmoud Abbas. Negotiating can't work when one of the parties continues to operate in bad faith.

And pot stirring tactics is about all Mahmoud Abbas has left, and they're totally ineffectual. UN groups like UNESCO could declare all of Israel except a strip near Tel Aviv Palestinian territory and it would have no effect except the cutting of even more UN funding. Abbas can continue to rant about the Temple Mount and do his best to inspire hatred and violence towards Israel, but it won't get him any closer to what he wants. And Abbas, at 82 and a chain smoker isn't going to be around much longer anyway. Another Capo al Tutti will take over the Fatah mafia, thump his chest and attempt to steal as much international aid for his personal fortune as possible, just like Arafat and Abbas did. But his take is likely to be less than theirs as even the gullible Europeans are getting tired of funding one of the longest running con games in history.

Actually, there is a way to bring this sorry situation to a satisfactory climax, believe it or not. But more on that in a coming article.

* Since Donald Trump Jr. is in the headlines these days, I thought I'd share his response to the BBC's disgusting bias:
You mean after they stabbed a female Israeli police officer to death... right? This is as close to being misleading as possible. https://twitter.com/bbcworld/status/875810753571418113



Rob Miller

Rob Miller writes for Joshuapundit. His articles have appeared in The Jerusalem Post, The Washington Examiner, American Thinker, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The San Francisco Chronicle, Real Clear Politics, The Times Of Israel, Breitbart.Com and other publications.

Follow him on Twitter here
and on Facebook here.

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Watcher of Weasels

As Obamacare Repeal Dies Again, A Simple Answer 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Seattle Wealth Tax Approved On Incomes Over $250K

 Image result for Seattle tax the rich demonstrators

The Seattle City Council voted to approve a wealth tax on total income. The vote was unanimous, 9-0. The new Seattle wealth tax is 2.25% over $250,000 per year for a single person and $500,000 per year for a married couple filing jointly.

The city estimates that the new Seattle wealth tax would raise $140 million per year, and would cost between $10-13 million to set up and $5-6 million per year to assess, manage and enforce. Those figures will almost certainly prove top be optimistic, as I'll explain.

For those familiar with Seattle and what it costs to live there, the dollar guidelines for the new wealth tax target quite a few people who hardly qualify as 'rich' especially small business owners since it targets total income. Also, given the nature of Seattle's city government, this tax is likely to be raised more and more as time goes on.

One of the attractions of living in Washington State is that it has no state income tax. So there will likely be a legal challenge to the new law once Mayor Ed Murry signs it into law, since it violates the state constitution. But Washington being a Blue State, there's no guaranty it will be successful. Mayor Murry's argument is that Washington's tax system is "antiquated and regressive, causing people with less money to pay more of what they have."

The Mayor thinks it's time Seattle and the whole State "adopted a progressive income tax."

This is a curious argument, although the Left has been repeating it ad nauseum.This is not a 'progressive income tax' no matter what Seattle's mayor and his socialist buddies claim. A progressive tax affects everyone in varying degrees according to their income and situation. This one does not, only affecting people above a certain total income.

And if people are already not paying state income tax at all, how are they paying 'more of what they have?' The sales tax in Seattle has now been raised to 10.1%, one of the highest in the nation. There's been absolutely no talk about using this new windfall from the rich to lower that tax and I can guarantee you there won't be. Ditto with Seattle's relatively high property taxes, which are levied by King County anyway, not the City of Seattle. So that won't be changing either, at least not as a result of this new Seattle wealth tax.

If it becomes law and survives the legal challenge, here's what will change...Seattle's tax base. If you're a person with a gross income of $250,000, the new Seattle wealth tax will set you back a hefty $5,650, almost $500 a month.And remember, you might only come home with part of that $250,000 after federal taxes and expenses. If you're a professional or highly skilled, there's a good chance you'll move to some place like Kirkland, Renton or Kent or even a little further out and commute in. That's especially true if you live in Seattle but work for say, Microsoft in Redmond or Boeing's factory in Everett. And if you own a home or condo in Seattle, you'll either sell it or rent it if you don't need the sale to finance a new house. If you own a business, you'll either raise the prices you charge for good and services or close your doors and relocate. Especially as this levy on the 'rich' goes up, and rest assured it will.

 Related image

This is very much yet another instance of the failed Blue State model, similar to Detroit, Chicago, etc. The only place this kind of nonsense can be imposed is when people have no choices available, ala' Venezuela. That isn't the case here, and what you end up with as people exercise those choices is a deteriorating tax base, less revenue and a declining city.

There likely are people willing to pay through the nose to live in the Emerald City. But I think that the numbers are unlikely to net anywhere near $140 million per year. And the city of Seattle is going to have to pay something like $15-$20 million to find that out. But hey, it's fun to got to Vegas with other people's money! If you gamble and lose, who cares?

Of course, what Mayor Murray and his socialist friends on the Seattle City Council are doing has nothing to do with actual economics. It's political red meat for their portion of the Seattle electorate.

Rob Miller

Rob Miller writes for Joshuapundit. His articles have appeared in The Jerusalem Post, The Washington Examiner, American Thinker, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The San Francisco Chronicle, Real Clear Politics, The Times Of Israel, Breitbart.Com and other publications.

Follow him on Twitter here
and on Facebook here.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Forum: Will Media Outlets Like CNN Ever Practice Journalism Again?




Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's Question, courtesy of Don Surber
: Will Media Outlets Like CNN Ever Practice Journalism Again?


Mike McDaniel: No. OK…back to that article I was working on…what’s that? What do I mean “No?” You want me to explain? Very well.

The most important thing to understand about the contemporary media is they are virtually all progressives. I don’t mean center of the political road Democrats, I mean far left, pajama boy, womyn leftist/progressive/socialist/communist/antifa/BLM/Greenie/LGBTQWERTY+/open borders/Anti-America/let everybody vote early and often fanatics. In this, they have followed and mimicked the progression of the Democrat Party to the point that even the few semi-rational Democrats remaining have begun to publicly admit unless the party is somehow drug, screaming, fire bombing, property destroying, assassinating the police back toward the political center, the Democrat Party may be doomed.

Their political ideology takes on all of the characteristics of fervent religious faith. They just, for the most part, leave out God. For the contemporary Progressive, Barack Obama was the higher being, and by their association with him and their shared ideals, they too have ascended beyond the strictures of mortal existence.

Progressive ideology, ideas, programs, and yes, writings and broadcasts, cannot possibly be wrong. They are infallible, non-falsifiable. No evidence can possibly prove them wrong because they can’t be wrong. If they appear to be wrong, they’re actually right, and the appearance of error is due to factors such as:

*Conservatives are allowed to exist.

*Not enough money has been spent for the program’s magnificence to be fully manifest.

*Not enough time has passed for the program’s full effect to be felt.

*The ungrateful people haven’t had the program good and hard enough yet.

*That damned Constitution keeps getting in the way.

So when a CNN reporter reads President Trump’s speech in Poland he, by virtue of his superior, super human progressive intellect and ideology, can find racism and white nationalism lurked behind every metaphor and ready to pounce from behind every connotation. And when the First Lady of Poland shakes Melania’s Trump’s hand a few seconds before Donald Trump’s hand, she snubbed him, even though she didn’t snub him, but she snubbed him because TRUMP! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Whatta ya mean “fake news?!” Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

The media have fallen so far from ethical journalism, returning to it would require firing virtually every employee, from the head of each network to the lowliest technician, and replacing them with carefully vetted, honest, honorable and humble human beings. That can’t happen because progressive ideology can’t be wrong. Draining that particularly swamp would require the admission of error. Against their faith. Won’t happen. Can’t happen.

What might happen, if ratings dip low enough and networks start really getting hit in the pocketbook--even more than they already are--is a temporary bit of restraint that might bring networks like CNN or NBC down to 88% negative coverage of President Trump instead of 93%, but that’s about it.

Notice the NYT firing copy editors. Has anyone detected any change in the content of its coverage? The NYT’s financial straits are dire. Have they admitted, even to themselves, they’re wrong? Do they believe, for a moment, they should return to honest, balanced, non-biased journalism?

There will always be a sufficient number of Americans in Name Only to keep progressive news organs afloat at some level, thus there is no reason for any of them to significantly change their coverage. Anyone trying will be labeled an apostate, excommunicated, and symbolically killed by being denied congress with fellow elite media progressives. It’s an article of faith.

What is most amusing is the self-imagined media elite believe when the civil war they are provoking occurs, they’ll be left alone to advocate for the lions against the Christians, to cheer for the barbarians at the gate, ready to rape and kill and burn. Should that happen, by the time the barbarians breach the gates, there won’t be any remaining media elites for the pleasure of the barbarians. The Left always eats its own, and the lowly, flyover country Americans so long denigrated, insulted and abused by their media betters will, in those conditions, restrain themselves no longer. They’ll pay brief and intimate visits to their tormentors.

They’ll go down, to the last pajama boy, womyn, and transnational whatever, believing they were right. It’s an article of faith.

;Don Surber: Since I asked, journalism is dead because the people who run the news organizations are short-sighted and dim-witted. The public's trust was all they had and it was quite valuable. Newspapers were worth $1,300 a subscriber when Clinton was president. The New York Times paid $1.1 billion for the Boston Globe in 1993 -- and sold it 20 years later for $70 million.

The newspaper industry is a wreck in part because of technology; instead of embracing the Internet, they fought it. Their paywalls amuse me because they are a throwback to a way of life long gone. The last time I saw a newspaper boy was in a Nintendo game.

The gravy train will soon end for cable news as cord cutters cut into their subscriber fees. Why am I paying CNN a buck a month? The network is Fake News. In the words of Nancy Sinatra last January: “That's not true. I never said that. Why do you lie, CNN?”

Jeff Zucker and the rest see their future in niche markets, as they seek to become Daily Kos.
Jim Acosta is not a journalist but an actor -- a mascot -- for a Fake News organization that feeds people what they want to hear.

Can the Republic survive without them?

Maybe.

Trust God, not men -- and trust men before you trust an institution.

 Rob Miller:Well, I never say never. Media outlets get sold, or come under new management from time to time. I'd also say journalism isn't entirely dead, but that it simply doesn't exist where you'd expect to find it.

When it comes to places like CNN or similar outfits, I think it's worth remembering a few things. The talking heads that are the on air talent or the print reporters and columnists live in a bubble.  They grew up in the same kind of neighborhoods, went to the same kind of schools and move in the same circles. They have similar beliefs and similar connections based on a shared ideology, and if they don't they aren't hired unless there's a huge perceived economic benefit in doing so. I don't see that changing, at least not for some time.


Fausta:Only if they start hiring real, independent journalists.


Patrick O' Hannigan: I don't think media outlets like CNN will ever practice journalism again, because they're outlets that pay lip service to the ideal of following stories "without fear or favor," but they can't walk the talk about policing the establishment while accepting money and kudos from that same establishment. To the extent that real journalism -- as opposed to commentary -- has a future, it rests in the hands of the people on the air and on the web who are not beholden to the bi-coastal elites, and people who ferret out news because they're curious rather than because they want to "make a difference." I also think there has to be more to redemption, if it comes, than finding a local angle for national stories. On-air talent at local affiliates can be every bit as smug about progressive platitudes as their higher-profile colleagues with bigger expense accounts.

Doug Hagin: Only if they can remember what journalism is, and separate their ideology from their mission. That mission is to report news. That mission is to investigate, and then pass their findings along. Lots of local stations do nice jobs of doing that. But the alphabet soup of NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, etc have sacrificed their integrity in favor of their political leanings.

Just imagine what the media could do if they put as much energy into uncovering facts about Benghazi, Fast and Furious, and so many other scandals as they did into finding a Reddit user to bully. Imagine!

Simply Jews:Not wanting to interfere in a US internal problem, I shall avoid answering this question, unless it's made an international one (and why not, by the way?).

But I can tell you all an old Israeli story, about one of the ministers of finance whose name I have forgotten.

When the trade unions during his reign started demanding a five days working week, he objected, saying:

- Why are you being so extreme? Let them start with two, then move to three gradually etc...

So there...

If you think it's absolutely unrelated to the question... oh well, I feel it is.

Dave Schuler : Let's start by defining "ever". as "in my lifetime". For that the answer is "No".

For the major media outlets to return to actual journalism they'd need to report the news in a balance, non-agonistic fashion consistently over a period of years to regain the credibility they've lost. I don't believe the present crop of editors are capable of that. It would take commitment and a generational change.


Laura Rambeau Lee : As long as progressives have control of our universities the indoctrination of our youth will continue. The “journalists” coming out of these institutions perceive and report world events through the skewed lens of identity politics and social, economic, and environmental justice. Their ability to think critically has been carefully and methodically taught out of them. This culture is promoted by outlets like CNN to the point where truth is the enemy. New media outlets such as One America News (OAN) are already attracting viewers searching for true journalism; reporters committed to telling the whole story and who respect the viewer or listener to make their own judgments based on the facts presented. Media outlets like CNN will never change, the ideology is so entrenched. They will be replaced eventually or exist only on the very fringes of the media.


Well, there it is!

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